If you're a team like the, say, Soddy-Daisy Trojans, who are playing your third road game of the week and sixth game in 12 days, you do your level best to avoid playing a team that was a) itching to play; b) coming off a statement win and c) highly motivated by a not-so-idle threat.
So in the Central Purple Pounders, the Trojans were 0-for-3 Friday night, and saw a three-game winning streak come crashing to earth with a 60-34 defeat in a game that takes both teams into a brief Christmas break.
Coach Rick Rogers' Purple Pounders, playing for the first time since a double-digit demolition of the Howard Hustlin' Tigers a week ago, were forced to have a full-on Purple-and-Gold scrimmage Tuesday so, as Rogers said last night, “We felt like we were playing somebody.
“The bad part about taking a week off is that you lose your timing,” said Rogers. “And we were out of sync early on, throwing the ball all over the place.”
But locked and loaded was Central's trapping defense. After watching Trojan junior guard Tucker Landreth score 33 points, more than half his team's output, earlier in the week, he delivered a grim threat to his team.
“I told them that every time he gets it to the rim, that's a suicide,” Rogers confessed. Thus motivated, the David Holley-led defense scarcely let Soddy-Daisy get the ball across half court in the opening minutes and used those turnovers to build a 17-5 lead.
Holley would score 11 of his team-high 16 points in the first half, but a frustrated Landreth was blanked for three periods and finished the game with only three points.
Rogers was also quick to praise Colton Morgan, who also had a handful of steals, three 3s and a season-high 14 points.
“Easily his best game of the year,” Rogers said. “He's very important in what we do, but he really raised his overall game tonight.”
Robert Cobb was the third of the Pounders (5-3 overall) to finish in double digits with 13. Christian Amos led the 6-6 Trojans with 10.
Central next plays Lincoln County Thursday at 2 in the massive Hixson Invitational. That event will stage a three-day run into the new year.
Central girls withstand frantic comeback by Lady Trojans.
On a night where both teams were starving for points, the Central Lady Pounders still seemed set with a 12-point lead over visiting Soddy-Daisy midway through the fourth quarter. But instead of garbage time, the Lady Trojans came alive to stage a frantic comeback. They would cut the lead to four before four straight free throws put away the 34-27 win.
The Lady Pounders, who hit only 11 of 20 foul shots, still made enough to offset Soddy-Daisy stone cold outside shooting. India Corley led the 4-5 winners with 16 points, while Sandrea Sylman added 11.
The Lady Trojans (7-6) looking like a team playing its sixth game in 12 games, hit only 7 of 15 foul shots..
Soddy-Daisy 7 10 7 10 – 34
Central 17 18 14 11 – 60
SODDY-DAISY (34) – Christian Amos 10, Landreth 3, Wright 2, Jeffries 5, York 8, Floyd, Shell 6, Carter, Millaps, Kearney.
CENTRAL (60) – Swafford 8, Montgomery 2, Billingsley, Robert Cobb 13, Hill 2, Trammell 3, Stewart 2, Colton Morgan 14, David Holley 16, Lewis.
3-point goals: SD 2 (Amos, Shell); Central 6 (Holley 3, Morgan 2, Trammell). Records: Soddy-Daisy 6-6 overall; Central 5-3 overall.
Soddy-Daisy 5 3 4 16 – 27
Central 2 9 9 14 – 34
SODDY-DAISY (27) – Harris 9, Hale, Orr 4, Mitchell 1, Smith 2, Ward 3, Wade 8, Duncan.
CENTRAL (34) – Jones 2, McReynolds, Rogers, Davis, Powell, Sandrea Sylman 11, India Corley 16, Mitchell 5, Ransom.
3-point goals: SD 2 (Harris, Ward); Central 1 (Corley). Records: Soddy-Daisy 7-6 overall; Central 4-5 overall.