Hobbs leads Waggener over St. Xavier

Hobbs leads Waggener over St. Xavier


Hobbs leads Waggener over St. Xavier


Jacquess Hobbs scored 24 points to lead the Waggener High School boys basketball team to a 64-54 victory at St. Xavier Tuesday night.

St. Xavier guard James Taylor tries to slow down Waggener guard Ron Fell. 13 December 2016

St. Xavier guard James Taylor tries to slow down Waggener guard Ron Fell. 13 December 2016

After taking leads in both the second and third quarters only to see the Tigers come back, the Wildcats finally put away the hosts in the final period. Hobbs, a senior guard, made sure there would be no final rally as he hit 6-of-6 free throws in the final 1:13 to preserve the victory over the team that ended their season last year in the Seventh Region quarterfinals.

In the final eight minutes, Waggener made seven of its nine shots and all seven free throws, but coach Bryan O’Neill credited the effort on the other side of the court for the victory. The Wildcats forced the Tigers into committing 19 turnovers, with 11 coming after halftime.

Hobbs, who finished making 7-of-16 shots and all seven free throws, agreed.

“I just think the players, all of us, decided to actually sit down and guard somebody,” said Hobbs, who also made three of his six 3-point shots.

O’Neill also thought his team could force Tigers’ guard James Taylor into some freshman mistakes at the point. While the youngster committed six turnovers, he also finished with a team-high 18 points for the hosts. That performance earned him some lavish praise from the Waggener coach.

“The kid was solid as a rock,” O’Neill said. “So, we made some adjustments, just played him straight up and made him really have to run the team, which he did a phenomenal job.”

The Wildcats (4-2) forced five straight turnovers in the middle of the third to spark a 10-0 run that enabled them to build a 42-35 lead with 3:21 remaining in the period. But that was the last points Waggener would score in the quarter as St. Xavier whittled its advantage to just two points by the end of the period.

The Tigers (3-3), which used an 8-2 run in the final 2:27 of the first half to tie the game at 32, tied it one final time at 46 on a Pierce Kiesler layup with 6:11 left in the game. However, the Tigers could not find another answer as the Wildcats pulled away.

“I just think we didn’t give consistent effort and mental approach to every possession,” Tigers coach Kevin Klein said.

Ethan Taylor added 13 points for the Wildcats, who also got 10 from Ron Fell.

Kiesler finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Paul Oberst came off the bench to score 10.


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