By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
The Obion Central girls are rolling in the right direction heading into the most important part of the season.
The Rebel boys were on a similar path before being derailed.
OC’s winning streak on the girls’ side is now seven straight after thrashing Crockett County 77-31 Friday and Haywood 66-21 on Saturday night to cap a 4-0 week.
The Lady Rebs (22-6, 13-2) have critical games vs. the two teams tied for first place (Westview and Covington) in District 13AA in the final week of the regular season on Tuesday and Friday, respectively. Central could be seeded anywhere from first to third in the upcoming postseason tournament once those results are posted.
Central’s boys, meanwhile, had won back-to-back league games before dropping Friday’s homecoming contest vs. CC, 63-56, then losing to Haywood, 71-60 on Saturday.
The Rebels (12-12, 6-9) appear likely headed to a play-in game in the 13AA tourney, though games against Westview, South Gibson and Covington in the final week of the regular season will decide their seeding for sure.
Brandi Goodman poured in 30 points in less than three quarters of playing time for the Obion Central girls, who posted their largest victory margin of the season Friday night against Crockett County.
The Lady Rebels beat four overmatched foes by an average of 36 points during the week.
The OC boys were done-in Friday by a 17-4 Cavalier surge to open the third period of what was a 28-26 game at the half.
Shaw Logan pumped in 17 of his 20 points in a fourth quarter that saw the Rebels cut a 15-point deficit to six on two occasions, but Central ultimately could not overcome 29 percent shooting (19-of-65).
While the home games Tuesday vs. Westview and road contests Friday at Covington will have normal 6 p.m. start times, Wednesday’s makeup doubleheader against South Gibson at Troy will begin with a 3:30 start for the girls’ game and the boys to follow.
OC 77, CC 31 (G)
Goodman — several inches taller than anyone on the Lady Cavalier team — had her way from the start for the Rebel girls.
The 6-2 University of Memphis-bound senior scored nine in the first, 10 in the second quarter and 11 more before exiting prior to the end of the third frame.
Central scored 10 points as a team before Crockett County could make a field goal, and Paige Hicks’ 3-pointer put OC up 21-4 with the contest barely six minutes old.
It was 38-19 at the half and a 20-2 flurry in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the third stanza capped by Dianna Flippen’s bucket in the paint signaled the beginning of the continuous running of the game clock and the mercy rule.
“You can’t dictate your schedule because of the postponements and make-ups, but ours has lined up well for us, I think,” Central head coach Lyle LaRue said. “We’ve managed to put together some wins this week and hopefully gain some momentum going into two critical games next week and we’ve done it without our starters having to log a lot of minutes.
“I was really pleased tonight that we didn’t have a great deal of dropoff when we went to our second team — and then our third. In fact, it was probably our most complete game of the week.”
Flippen joined Goodman in double figures with 10 points and 11 Lady Rebels in all dented the scoring column.
The only downside was Hicks’ sprained ankle suffered early in the third period. She was to be in a walking boot all weekend, according to LaRue.
On Saturday night, Central celebrated Senior Night in style with another lopsided victory vs. Haywood.
Goodman had 18 points, Flippen 11, and both Ali McEwen and Abby Blackburn seven apiece.
A 21-0 second-quarter burst all-but-decided the outcome.
CC 63, OC 56 (B)
The Rebels started off good enough, but a minor dust-up under the Crockett County basket after a hard foul committed by the Rebels and subsequent push by the Cavaliers’ William Edwards that resulted in a technical foul seemed to inspire the visitors while deflating to OC.
“We lost our composure there in the third quarter,” Central skipper Bill Kail agreed. “When it got a little chippy, we let it get in our heads instead of playing through it.
“And I felt like we tried to go one-on-one way too much instead of moving the ball around like we did in the first quarter when we scored 18 points.”
Central scored seven of the game’s first eight points and led by as much as 14-7 after a Bryan Morris 3-pointer and a follow-up bucket by Zack King. It was 18-12, Rebels, at the first quarter horn.
CC’s athleticism began to overcome Obion Central’s significant size advantage inside in the second frame and, coupled with the Rebs’ cold shooting that produced just eight points in the quarter, allowed the visitors to take the lead for good. Edwards’ second-chance dunk put the Cavs up for the first time and for the rest of the game with a little over two minutes left before the break.
A pair of Jordan Mosier 3-pointers and two buckets by Elijah Shaw highlighted Crockett County’s aforementioned burst in the third canto that stretched the lead to as much as 45-30.
Logan tried almost single-handedly to bring Central back in the final eight minutes, making a trio of 3-pointers during a span in which he scored all but three of his points in the contest. Logan scored 10 straight during one juncture and pulled his team within six (62-56) late after Mike Klein’s two charities had drawn the Rebels that close 30 seconds earlier.
King, who battled foul trouble most of the second half, joined Logan in twin digits with 10 points.
On Saturday, OC led 31-27 at the half, but was outscored 44-29 over the final two periods to fall to the .500 mark overall.
Logan was a standout from start to finish with 20 points and seven assists for the Rebels.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 2.4.13