HOLT – Jaylin Cooper wasn’t sure if he was going to suit up Tuesday night because of some medical issues.
The senior guard decided to give it a go anyways.
That proved to be a good thing for the Holt boys basketball team.
Cooper had 18 points and helped Holt put together one of its better performances of the season in a 69-60 CAAC Blue win over Everett..
Cooper keyed a strong start with seven points in the opening quarter and then had the rest of his points In the second half as Holt (11-4, 7-4 CAAC Blue) fended off Everett’s runs and won its fifth straight. He made 5 of 9 shots from the field and made 7 of 9 attempts from the free-throw line while putting together his second straight strong performance for the Rams.
“We know what we’re going to always get from Quinton (Armstrong) and Jaron (Faulds), but when Jaylin gives us what he’s given us the last two nights and a number of other nights this year, that gives us (another option),” Holt coach Matt Essell said. “What he’s done the last two nights has been tremendous. He’s been really solid and making good decisions, hitting shots and getting to the basket too.”
The Rams also got strong performances from several others Tuesday in what was their first game this season with their complete team intact. Faulds had 16 points and 15 rebounds off the bench, Armstrong added 12 points and Michael Dunlap scored 10 for the Rams, who won for the sixth time in seven games since a three-game losing streak last month.
“I feel like we’re in a really good position because this is the first game all year we’ve been at full strength,” Cooper said. “We’ve had people injured, people sick, people being ineligible because of transfers. This is the first game we’ve had all 15 eligible and I think it worked out pretty good.
“It’s great. We have so much depth at every spot. Some games you don’t know how much you’re going to play. It’s a good thing because you’ve got people just as good or better than you coming in for you.”
Holt got contributions from throughout its roster in a strong opening quarter where it jumped out to a 26-12 advantage. Everett, which was led by Jamyrin Jackson’s game-high 23 points, never got closer than six the rest of the contest.
Vikings coach Desmond Ferguson, whose team dropped to 8-8 and 7-4 in the Blue, is still waiting to see his squad put a complete performance together.
“Our starts have been horrible and we just haven’t been able to put together four quarters,” Ferguson said. “I think if we can put together four quarters, we can put something together and try to make a run. Really, it’s all about focusing on the tournament now. Obviously the goal was the conference championship, but that’s out of reach now. We’ve got four more regular-season games and we’ve got to get ready for the playoffs.”
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