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Opp recoups to beat Kinston by 6

After coming off a 53-32 loss to Elba last Thursday night, the Opp Bobcats (1-1) bounced back to beat Kinston Friday night, 42-36.

The Bobcats took control of the game with a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter.

At halftime, Opp led 21-20. Both teams tied the game up going into the fourth quarter, but Opp prevailed with the win.

Head coach Ronnie Sansom said of the loss to Elba that the team could not deal with their opponent’s pressure.

“We had several turnovers against Elba,” Sansom said. “We let their pressure get to us. It was a seven-point game at halftime and we did not shoot the ball well at all in that game. We only scored six points in the third quarter. We let the tempo of the game control us that night. It wore us down and they just pushed it on out there in the end.”

In the game Friday night, Sansom said there were some obvious improvements.

“We came back Friday and played a lot better,” he said. “It was a one-point game at halftime. But, we did a much better job on turnovers. In fact, we had half as many turnovers Friday night as we did Thursday night.

“We did a much better job rebounding defensively and started to be a little more patient on offense and started to move the ball around and take better shots,” he said.

Sansom added the team still needs work on execution, especially on offense.

“We want to be better every time we leave the gym, whether it’s practice or a game,” Sansom said. “We had to come right back in after a loss with pretty heavy legs. They did pretty well and didn’t show any signs of weariness from the night before and after the game.”

After the game Friday night, Sansom said he told the team they will get right back to work to get ready for Georgiana tonight.

“I told them we’re going enjoy the weekend and come back in Monday to get ready to work,” he said. “Because we’ve got to get ready for a very talented Georgiana team coming in (today) that are going to put a little more pressure on us.

“If we lose, we’ll look at it and learn from it and move on,” he said. “We’ll treat wins the same way.”

At practice on Monday, Sansom said they will be working on handling pressure from Georgiana.

“We’re going to work on our man offense and be able to handle full court pressure because I think we’re going to see a lot of that (tonight) against Georgiana,” Sansom said. “We’re going to also work on being a little more efficient on offense against an up tempo type pressure. Defensively, we’re going to work on a few things there as well. Our intensity is there.”

Leading scorers Friday night were Steadman Gerber and Gavin Free, who each had 10 points.

In earlier action Friday night, the Lady Bobcats shut down Kinston with a 61-8 win.

Leading scorers were Mychal Drew with 17 points and Katelyn Mikel with 12 points.

Opp’s B-team and varsity boys play Georgiana tonight in Opp. The B-team starts at 4:30 p.m.