Opp wins close game

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Opp's JaKeith Edwards (3) dribbles tries to find an open man in the second half. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Opp’s JaKeith Edwards (3) dribbles tries to find an open man in the second half. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Bobcats top Red Level 62-55 in boys action; RLS girls dominate

Close games can go either way.

Opp took an early 14-4 lead in the first period, held on despite pressure from Red Level and the Bobcats went on to win 62-55 at Jimmy Prestwood Gymnasium on Tuesday night.

Both teams went back and forth for the majority of the game. The game got going after RLS found itself the 10-point deficit in the opening period.

The Tigers started chipping away at the Bobcats’ lead thanks to a couple 6-0 runs and a 4-0 run in the first half to cut the game to 26-24 at halftime.

OHS held a two-point or less lead during the majority of the third period until Red Level tied the game up at 34-all with 3:35 left in the period. The Bobcats then quickly the lead back and held it for the remainder of the game, going as far ahead as 13 points in the fourth period.

For the Tigers, it was all about not taking care of the basketball and missing some opportunities at the tail end of the ball game, RLS coach Allen Catrett said.

“We dug ourselves a hole to start with and got down 14-4. After that, we did OK — we’ve just got to take care of the basketball better,” Catrett said.

Everything that happened to RLS can be corrected, Catrett said.

“We’ve got to come in (today) and work hard, and learn from our mistakes,” he said.

Some of the turnovers for the Tigers came as a result of Opp’s press, which the Bobcats have been working, their coach Sterling Driver said.

“Really, toward the second half, we just started eating some clock and making them tired,” Driver said. “They played great.”

With this victory, the Bobcats improve to 5-4 on the season. OHS defeated Florala 76-35 on Monday night. Red Level falls to 2-6 on the year.

Opp’s Ty White, who had a career-high 24 points, got a mid-range jumper to go, giving the Bobcats a 6-2 lead. Jaiquan Wade answered with a 3-pointer, and OHS led 9-2 with 3:25 left in the first.

After a quick timeout, RLS guard Spencer Stallworth got a turnaround jumper to cut the lead to 9-4.

JaKeith Edwards, who was a big factor in the win for OHS, got a floater, and Tavise Stoudemire made one of his three 3-pointers to give their team the 14-4 edge they it was searching for in the first period.

Red Level’s William Crawford powered the Tigers to their first 6-0 run in the second period to make it a reasonable 16-12. Wade then made a trey, and RLS went on its second 6-0 run, which was started by a Jeffery Perdue drive to the bucket. Chavis Crittenden then found Perdue — who finished with 16 points — in the paint again for an easy layup, and Stallworth dished it to Ontaryo Nearor to complete the run.

“You can’t dig yourself a hole by 10 and lose by seven,” Catrett said. “We got in it with spurts.”

Savage added a 3-pointer, his second, after a missed opportunity by the Tigers on the other end to give the Bobcats a 26-20 with minutes until the break.

Savage broke the 34-34 tie in the third period with a powerful layup in the lane. The Bobcats would later take a 38-34 lead thanks to Savage making a block, and Edwards finishing on the other end.

When Stoudemire hit his third 3-pointer, the Bobcats led 41-36 with time dwindling away in the third.

Then, Edwards then made a good hustle play to keep the ball in the Bobcats’ favor.

“You can’t say enough about him,” Sterling said about Edwards. “He’s one of the main leaders on our team. He’s gotten better each game, and as long as he continues to do well, the other guys will do well.”

Edwards’ good play was evident in the fourth period, where the junior guard helped convert steals into points.

White led the charge with 6:03 left in the game after he drove the lane, and was fouled. After missing the free throw on the and-1, Savage got the rebound and made the put back. Edwards then got a steal and got the bucket to give OHS a 53-40 lead, scoring six points in a 17-second span.

The Tigers tried to get back to within striking distance with the fourth period winding down, but couldn’t convert on first, second or third opportunities.

“Everything that happened was self-inflicted,” Catrett said. “Everything that happened we can fix.”

Edwards chipped in 12 points. Stoudemire had 11 for Opp.

In girls action, Red Level’s Shelby Holley scored 21 points to help lead the Lady Tigers to a 37-19 victory over an injury-plagued Lady Bobcats.

Catrett said the girls did a great job of following the game plan, and feeding the ball to Holley, who made the shots she needed to make.

RLS led 17-10 at halftime, and 26-19 after the third period.

Red Level visits Florala on Friday. Opp hosts Goshen tomorrow.