ALAMO – Bad decisions late in the first half by the Crockett County boys’ basketball team gave Chester County hope to get back in the game.
But a 19-0 run to start the second half crushed the Eagles’ hope as Crockett County picked up a 64-44 victory over Chester County at home on Tuesday.
“I think we had a minute-and-a-half where we took two or three really bad shots, and that led to transition and open 3s for Chester County,” Crockett County coach Jerrod Shelton said. “When you make stupid mistakes, the other team always capitalizes. We have to be more disciplined. But I am proud of the way we came out in the second half. We sat down and guarded.”
Tevion Young led the Crockett County offense with 17 points, while Juantavious Siddell added 12 points and Josh Welch scored 10.
Chester County’s Grant Burns and Caleb Johnson hit 3-pointers late in the second quarter to narrow Crockett County’s lead to 12 points at halftime.
But the halftime talk did the trick as the Cavaliers (3-3) held Chester County scoreless in the first 5:30 of the third quarter to turn that 12-point lead into a 32-point lead (50-19).
“We just had to stay composed and do what we do,” Welch said. “Coach [Shelton] told us that we had to come out with intensity and not let up.”
Five different Crockett County players scored in the rally that helped put the Eagles (2-5) away.
The key to the rally though wasn’t the 19 points. The key was the defensive pressure that the Cavaliers put on Chester County to force turnovers and create easy layups.
The Eagles hit one field goal in the quarter.
The defensive pressure led Crockett County the entire first three quarters as it held Chester County to 22 points.
This Crockett County team has learned from its mistakes in the early part of the season as the Cavaliers’ three losses have all come against teams ranked in the top six of the Dirty Dozen — South Side (No. 2), University School of Jackson (No. 3) and Gibson County (No. 6).
“Those losses taught us to play hard and to play through the adversity,” Welch said. “We can’t put our heads down. We had to come in the next day and be ready to play.”
As Shelton returns to coach the boys after a two-year absence to focus on being an assistant principal, learning about the way these kids have matured on the court is important.
“I learned in the six games that we are capable of winning, the kids want to win,” Shelton said. “We just have to learn how to win. We have two seniors that got little playing time last year. Our guard play has to improve. By the end of the year, we will be where we need to be.”
Crockett Co. 67,
Chester Co. 65 (3OT)
The Lady Cavaliers (3-3) had the final possession in both of the first two overtime periods, but they couldn’t get the game winner.
But a last-second basket wasn’t necessary in the third overtime period as Chester County (3-5) had to hit a 3 with second remaining to get it back to a single-possession game.
Paige Pipkin scored a game-high 31 points to lead the Eaglettes, while Marge Coleman added 14.
Crockett County was led by Elli Pratt with 21 points and Anya Patterson added 17.
Michael Odom, 425-9754