Straughn takes 2nd area loss to Central, 60-53

Published 11:59 pm Friday, January 9, 2009

Straughn fell in bitter defeat to Central-Hayneville Friday night, not getting its revenge after losing to Central in its area opener as well.

The Tigers fell to the Lions, 60-53, after Central took control of the game in the second half.

“It was a heck of an effort,” Straughn coach Todd Reynolds said. “We’re still a little undermanned, so that cost us on the boards. You can’t give good teams second or third shots. In that second half, that’s where they were getting us.”

In the third quarter, Central put up 24 points compared to Straughn’s four.

The Tigers (8-10, 0-2 in Class 3A, Area 3) rallied from a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter to bring the game to within four points with 2:15 left in the quarter.

Central sealed the game after fouls turned in their favor. For Straughn, its biggest obstacle was not making free throws, going 8-for-16 at the free throw line.

“That’s what got us right there,” Reynolds said, pointing at the free-throw statistic. “In a real battle and tough game it doesn’t take much, but that right there. (Central-Hayneville) won by seven points, so we missed eight free throws and you figure in essence that could’ve been it.”

Earlier in the game, Straughn put up 15 points in the first quarter and an additional 18 in the second to take a five-point lead at halftime.

Reynolds said one aspect that looked good to him was ball movement.

“We had good team work, good ball movement and good shot selection for the most part and a lot of great things,” he said. “It’s just that we’re playing such a hard schedule and everybody’s a monster. You’ve got to bring your ‘A-plus’ game every game. Today we played about a ‘B’. But, that ain’t good enough because it’s just enough to lose.”

On what still needs work, Reynolds said it all has to do with playing in the box under the net.

“Rebounding and boxing out,” he said. “We still have one or two players that are injured and waiting on them to heal just to give me a little bit more depth. Other than that, we’re playing good teams and you have to have your ‘A’ game.”

Reynolds added he “appreciated the fan support” Friday night.

Leading scorers for the Tigers were C.J. Christopher with 21 points and Jakim Felton with eight.

Straughn will host Luverne next Tuesday in area play. Tip off is at 4:30 p.m.

In earlier action Friday night, the Lady Tigers claimed their second area win over Central, 48-26.

Straughn took an early lead in the first half to go up 14-10 after the first and 21-15 going into halftime.

By the second half, the Lady Tigers (15-3, 2-0 in Class 3A, Area 3) sealed the deal going up 20 points in the third quarter, 37-17, and finishing the fourth quarter with another 21 points.

“We played well on the defensive end,” Straughn coach Scott Kinsaul said. “That’s what stays with us. We had a lot of turnovers and easy baskets.”

The leading scorers for the Lady Tigers were Kimberly Teel with 12 points, Kaitlynn Wiggins with 10 and Kayla Teel with nine.

Kinsaul said offensively, his team will work on shooting and moving the ball at practice to get ready for Luverne next Tuesday night.