OC-SF script differs in boys’ game only

OC-SF script differs in boys’ game only
OC-SF script differs in boys’ game only | OC-SF script differs in boys’ game only
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
A lot was different Tuesday night from when the Obion Central boys beat South Fulton a week earlier to open both teams’ season.
Not so for the Lady Rebels and Devilettes.
On Tuesday, SF avenged a double-digit loss to Central that occurred seven nights earlier, building a commanding lead before having to hold off a furious comeback for an 80-74 triumph on the Big Red hardwood in the boys’ rematch.
The second girls’ meeting of the young season resembled the first, though, OC forcing the Devilettes into nearly 30 turnovers and winning again comfortably 68-47.
The results left the Lady Rebels as the lone unbeaten of the four teams just three games into the season at 3-0. Both the Obion Central and South Fulton boys are 2-1 heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, while the SF girls fell to 1-2.
All will take an extended six-day break except for the Devilettes, who will play Dyer County Saturday afternoon at 4 in the annual Westview Thanksgiving Classic.
SF 80, Central 74 (B)
Unlike in their first meeting when the Rebels’ aggressive play fueled a big third-quarter spurt that led to an insurmountable advantage, it was SF that had similar traits in a telling run at the same juncture on Tuesday.
The Redmen, who led by 12 after one quarter but saw that margin shrink to four late in the opening half, had a 22-4 burst that opened a seemingly-safe 58-36 lead just before the end of the third stanza.
South Fulton attacked the basket at every opportunity during that stretch, scoring regularly in transition. Keyshawn McManus, Tavarius James and Jordan Davis all went to the bucket strong, while OC’s offense was struggling miserably with nearly a five-minute stretch without scoring.
“I told the kids the same thing at halftime that I told them in the first game, that the first two or three minutes of the third quarter was going to be telling,” SF head coach Wes Miller insisted. “We got off to a great start then with a five-point trip to open the second half, and we were just very aggressive on the offensive end.”
Lackluster as skipper Bill Kail had anticipated after a resounding emotional victory over Union City on Saturday, Central finally came to life in the fourth period when it used 11 points from Shyheim Slayton to cut the 22-point deficit to 72-69 on a 3-point play by Eric Torres with 1:16 to go.
The Red Devils contributed to the OC run with missed free throws, turnovers and ill-advised shots, but eventually staved off the uprising when Davis hit 6-of-8 charities and Harrison Hawks scored on a run-out in the last 73 seconds.
“I try to get them ready the same way every night and I didn’t say anything different just because they (South Fulton) weren’t Union City,” Kail said afterward when trying to explain his team’s listless play for the most part that included 4-of-24 shooting from 3-point range. “We got back in the game just before halftime after coming out flat to start out with, but we were flat again to start the second half.
“What our kids don’t seem to realize is that we are to South Fulton what Union City is to us. It’s a really big deal for them to beat us, and they’re very motivated and played with great energy and passion.”
Miller is hopeful the victory can be a springboard for greater things for his team.
“It’s a great win for us, but only if we build off of it,” the SF coach said.
Davis’ 24 points was a game-high and led a quartet of Red Devils in double figures. James had 14, McManus chipped with 13 and Hawks added 10. Davis’ stat line also included 10 rebounds and four assists, while McManus pulled down seven boards.
Bryan Morris led OC with 23 points and Slayton scored 16.
Central 68, SF 47 (G)
The Lady Rebels’ fullcourt pressure again was too much for South Fulton to handle.
“It was the same things as last time: We didn’t handle the basketball, we didn’t defend and we didn’t box out and rebound,” Devilette skipper Curt Lee claimed afterward, saying it was combination of OC’s pressure and his team’s carelessness that led to SF’s demise. “The thing that really bothered me was that it was our older, more experienced players who were careless with the ball and committed most of the mistakes.”
On the other side, Central’s Lyle LaRue said the outing was his team’s “best of the season” despite the fact that the Lady Rebels were in foul trouble almost from the opening tip.
“The pros and cons of it are that our pressure really bothers them, but it also gets us in foul trouble — or at least it did in both games this year,” the OC coach said. “We really didn’t adjust well to how tightly the game was being called, but I did think we had a good inside-outside mix offensively.”
A 22-9 flurry in the third quarter helped Obion Central break open a 31-27 game at the half that had 26 fouls whistled and a combined 20 missed free throws by the two squads at the intermission.
Paige Hicks had nine of her game-best 22 markers during that third stanza, hitting a deuce and then a 3-pointer as part of a stretch when Central scored 11 of 13 points during a three-minute span.
A long 3-pointer at the quarter-ending horn by Ali McEwen gave the Lady Rebels a 53-36 heading into the stretch run.
Hicks had 22 points, McEwen 13 and Brandi Goodman 10 markers for the winners.
Taleeah Cross, who had 22 in the teams’ first meeting last week, scored 18 on Tuesday with Laken Haley pitching in 16.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 11.23.11

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