Fast Start Lifts Notre Dame Over Red Bank, 70-60

Stedmon Ford Leads Fighting Irish With 18 In Non-District Win

Monday, January 21, 2013 - by John Hunt

Coach J.P. Nerbun liked the way his Notre Dame basketball started its game against Red Bank Monday night, but he had a hard time finding anything good to say about the way they finished.

Red Bank's Fred Matthews scored on a short baseline jumper to start the game, but the Fighting Irish went on a 13-0 run in the next three minutes and that was basically the difference in the game as Notre Dame improved to 13-8 with the 70-60 non-district victory at Notre Dame's Jim Phifer Gymnasium.

Notre Dame's lead was 18-6 when the first quarter ended. 

Red Bank actually outscored the hosts by a 54-52 margin in the final three stanzas, but that explosive start was more than the Lions could overcome.

"I'm not one bit happy right now," Nerbun said after a brief post-game talk with his team.

"We played a great first quarter, but Red Bank did  a great job of crashing the boards and they played with a lot of fire the rest of the way.  We just basically failed to execute on the defensive end for the last three quarters," Nerbun continued.

"I was really happy that Clay Hetzel came in and hit some big shots and I thought that Stedmon Ford had a pretty good game, but we still need to find five players who want to play defense and are willing to battle for a rebound," the Notre Dame coach added.

The Lions did indeed win the battle of the boards by a 35-28 margin after piling up a 26-15 advantage in the first half. 

Red Bank finally got its offense going after that slow start and they steadily chipped into Notre Dame's lead.

The difference was 32-25 at the half while the Irish advantage was even less at 47-44 when the final quarter began.

Ford scored on a drive down the lane while Hetzel swished a 3 from the corner and Tyler Byrd added a layup as Notre Dame stretched the lead back to 54-44 with 5:53 to play.

William Davis converted a 3-point play the old fashioned way and Matthews scored on a drive down the lane as the Lions got to within 54-49 with 5:13 showing, but Hetzel responded with another 3 from the corner and the Lions never got any closer.

Red Bank coach Corey Lazenby exited the gym rather quickly when the game ended, but he did offer a few thoughts when contacted by cell phone later.

"Overall I was pleased with our effort as we did a good job rebounding in the first half, but we let down on defense at the end.  We got to within five points, but they hit some 3s that really hurt us as they took the wind out of our sails.

"We missed some key layups and we had some critical turnovers that hurt," he added.

Ford was tops for Notre Dame with 18 points and he had three teammates in double figures as well.

Byrd was next with 13 while Kealey Green and Hetzel both finished with 11 points.

Matthews was the leader for Red Bank with 23 points while Davis was next with 16.

Chris Tucker only scored five points for the Lions, but he led the rebounding effort with 10, including eight in the first half.  Kalik Hudson and Matthews both snagged seven while Malik Davis claimed six.

Byrd was the leading rebounder for Notre Dame with seven while Green claimed six.

The Notre Dame girls improved to 15-5 with a 49-28 victory over the Lionettes, but it was a 36-10 difference in the second and third quarters that keyed Notre Dame's victory.

Annie Ripper and Keonna Beamon both had 10 points for Notre Dame while Morgan Cantrell finished with seven as 12 of the 14 Lady Irish players scored.

Autumn Babb had 13 points to lead Red Bank while Jasmine Simpson was next with seven.

Notre Dame will be at home again on Tuesday to host East Ridge while Red Bank returns to action on Thursday with a big district game at Tyner.

GIRLS SUMMARY

Red Bank     4  7  3  14  --  28

Notre Dame   4  16  20  9  --  49

RED BANK (28) -- Babb 13, Simpson 7, Usher 1, Russell 4, Woodward, Battles 2, Hughes 2.

NOTRE DAME (49) -- Ripper 10, Wittler 4, D. Lundquist, Gadd 1, S. Lundquist 2, Higgins 1, Bouchard 3, Gange 4, Colvin 3, Hoffer 2, Cantrell 7, Masterson, K. Lundquist 2, Beamon 10.

3-POINT GOALS: Red Bank 1 (Babb); Notre Dame 1 (Cantrell).

BOYS SUMMARY

Red Bank   6  19  19  16 --  60

Notre Dame   18  14  15  23  --  70

RED BANK (60) -- Poole, Akridge 3, Matthews 23, McConnell, Tucker 5, W. Davis 16, Suttles 1, M. Davis 6, Hudson 6, Autry.

NOTRE DAME (70) -- Ford 18, Orr 9, Carter 2, Flemister 2, Mink, Hetzel 11, Green 11, Byrd 13, Darras 2, Harris 2.

3-POINT GOALS: Red Bank 4 (Akridge, W. Davis 3); Notre Dame 6 (Ford 3, Hetzel 3).

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


PHOTOS: Hixson Vs. Central

Hixson defeated Central Friday night, 33-12 (click for more)

Chattanooga Holds Off Mercer For Big SoCon Win

If you wanted to see a lot of offense in a college football game, then you should have been at Finley Stadium Saturday afternoon. Playing in front of an announced crowd of 10,763 on a spectacular fall day, the Chattanooga Mocs took advantage of an offensive explosion as they improved to 4-0 in the Southern Conference and 5-3 overall with a 38-31 victory over the Mercer Bears. ... (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Teenager Killed In ATV Accident Thursday Night

Damon Lee Jones, 15, was killed Thursday night in an ATV accident in Walker County. It was reported he was riding with a 17-year old, when they tried to enter a church parking lot, but ran into a cable barrier. The accident happened on Dunwoody Road in LaFayette. The other rider, identified as Timothy J. Wallin, was not injured.   (click for more)

Tom Dugan Was A Good Man

Tom was my boss for most of my 36 years at Carta.  At the ceremony where I was awarded my 30-year service award, Tom said, "Don disagrees with 85% of my decisions, but I wish I had 80 more employees just like him." This kind of indicates our relationship. When I asked him to help with my plans for a reunion for the group of Veterans that I served with in Vietnam, he quickly ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)