Fast start aids OppPublished 12:02am Saturday, December 21, 2013
Opp shot out to a fast start and finished strong to top Red Level 60-38 on Friday night in the loser’s bracket semifinals of Andalusia’s 47th annual invitational basketball tournament.
Coming off of a decent effort against Elba the night before, the Bobcats started the game on two quick runs in the first period to take a 17-10 lead. The Tigers, dealing with younger player on the floor, only managed four points compared to Opp’s eight in the second period to trail 25-14 at halftime.
OHS coach Sterling Driver said despite the 11-point lead, he was urging his players to play with more “intensity.”
“In the second half, we came out better playing defensively and offensively,” Driver said. “I told them that we’ve got to do a better job of attacking the zone with the dribble, and dishing it (out to others). We’ve got a lot more points in the second half from my inside guys.”
Leading the charge for OHS was sophomore guard Ty White, who scored six of his 10 points, in the third period. White also got a good pass to senior Jaylon Wade to make it a 33-19 ball game at one point.
Red Level’s Spencer Stallworth, who led the Tigers with 18 points, spear-headed a 6-0 run to end the third period to cut the game to 37-27.
The Bobcats would then open it up in the fourth when they went on to outscore the Tigers 23-11.
RLS coach Allen Catrett said when his players got into a hole early in the first period, it was difficult for them to find a way out.
“It’s the same thing,” Catrett said. “I tell them you can’t dig yourselves a hole to start with. It’s hard to get out of a hole.”
Opp improves to 7-7 on the season, and will face Brantley at 4:30 p.m. today in the tournament’s consolation game. RLS is out of the tournament.
OHS junior guard JaKeith Edwards nailed a 3-pointer in the first for a 7-2 lead to get the ball rolling for the Bobcats.
Red Level stayed with it for a bit, thanks to two Ontaryo Nearor jumpers to cut Opp’s lead to 11-6.
Edwards, who scored 11 of his 14 points in the first period, added a floater and then converted on a steal to give the Bobcats their 17-10 lead.
RLS struggled with turnovers early in the second period to help OHS build itself up to a 21-10 lead.
Stallworth drove the lane a little later to cut it to 23-14, and missed four foul shots within the last three minutes of the first half.
RLS got a 3-pointer to cut it to 10 at 27-17 early in the third, but Opp kept itself ahead by 10 or more for the majority of the period after it stepped up its inside game.
Opp’s Walker Messer scored five quick points off the bench to start the scoring spree for the Bobcats in the fourth. One shot was a jumper and the other was an and-one play. Messer represented one of a bunch of younger Bobcats who got some playing time.
“Everybody played,” Driver said. “We got a lot of time for the subs. I told them that in the tournament, it’s about getting the guys on the bench some experience.”
The Bobcats finished 7-of-8 from the foul line last night.
“That’s definitely an improvement,” Driver said. “I’m proud of them. We’re looking forward to (today).”
Orlando Lacey and Morrow had eight points each for OHS.