CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Rossview boys coach Johnny Jackson was willing to take the blame for his team’s lack of energy in the second half.
And Jackson was willing to heap praise on his Hawks for their efficiency and commitment to unselfishness that led to a 48-43 victory Tuesday night against Region 5 rival Hendersonville.
“That’s when you have leaders,” Jackson said. “I think in years past we may have been missing senior leadership. I think we’ve got guys now that’s been through it. Couple of them have been playing or starting since they were sophomores and our basketball IQ is a lot higher than it has been in years past. It makes for an unselfish group and fun basketball too.”
But Rossview struggled down the stretch as Hendersonville broke out its full-court press to climb back into the game.
The Hawks (4-1) held a 40-32 lead heading into the final quarter when the Commandos began to utilize pressure. That led to seven straight points, capped off by a 3-pointer from Jason Hernando with 3:15 left to shave Rossview’s lead to 42-41.
But Austin Jackson responded with a 3-pointer from the left wing, and after Will Midlick’s basket with 51 seconds left, the Hawks held a 47-41 advantage.
Hendersonville could have cut the lead to three after Hernando was fouled on a corner 3 attempt. But he knocked down two of three foul shots, leaving the Commandos two possessions down. Rossview managed to hold off Hendersonville’s rally.
“I thought we looked like we were on Thanksgiving break,” Johnny Jackson said. “We took too many days off and that’s on me. We just didn’t have the energy in the second half that we had been having. Maybe we didn’t go to the bench enough. But to get a win against Hendersonville; we’ll take it any way we can get it.”
Rossview was highly efficient offensively, taking mid-range jumpers and finding players under the rim for easy shots. The Hawks knocked down six 3-pointers, but only attempted 10. Point guard Cannon Campbell led Rossview with 16 points while Austin Jackson finished with 11. Logan Miller added 10.
Meanwhile, Hendersonville wasn’t shy hoisting it up from 3. The Commandos were 7-of-19 from beyond the arc and were led by Preston Brown’s 10 points. Center Jordan Amis added 10. The Commandos had four of their seven treys in the first quarter and led the Hawks 16-14 after the first period.
But that lead didn’t last long as Rossview scored eight straight points to start the second quarter and built a 22-18 lead. Campbell fired off a buzzer-beating 3-pointer just before the half as Rossview held a 30-23 lead.
Campbell would do it again at the end of the third quarter, lofting a shot a few feet past the half-court line as time expired, giving the Hawks a 40-32 lead.
Reach prep writer George Robinson at 931-245-0747 and on Twitter @Cville_Sports.