Jim Arnold is a very innovative basketball coach who pushes the right buttons and chooses the best options most of the time with his Chattanooga Christian Chargers.
His team was facing a very good Boyd-Buchanan squad at home Saturday night, so he knew he had to think of something special to slow down the high-scoring Buccaneers.
His slow-down attack worked for a while, but the Bucs were able to force their will a bit in the second half and the result was a 42-25 victory for the visitors in their lowest scoring game of the season.
"That was a hard-fought win for our team and definitely a different way to get it," Buccaneer coach Cole Rose said after the game where his team's lead at halftime was only 16-12.
"I'm pleased with the discipline my kids showed as they did a great job of staying in position, but we were able to force our tempo a little bit more in the second half. I knew that coach Arnold would have some tricks up his sleeve, but overall, it was a very good win for us.
"I thought that Demaris Macon played a good game off the bench as he did a good job of taking advantage of his opportunities," Rose nodded.
Boyd-Buchanan never trailed in this game as they got a layup from Q.D. Cox right off the opening tip and back-to-back buckets from Zach Jenkins as the Bucs led 6-0 before big Josh Fikkert broke the ice for the Chargers with a pair of free throws at the 2:08 mark of the first quarter.
Fikkert kept his team in the game as he personally scored all four points in the first quarter and 11 of their 12 in the first half.
Boyd-Buchanan, who hit a blistering 71 percent from the field on 12 of 17 attempts, hit some key 3s in the second half as they tried to force the Chargers out of their zone defense.
Cox had a couple of long ones while Justus McMillan had another as the Bucs stretched that four-point halftime lead to 29-15 by the end of the third quarter.
Fikkert scored five straight points early in the final stanza to draw the Chargers within 31-23 with 4:12 to play, but the Bucs then reeled off 11 unanswered points for a comfortable lead before Conner Aldridge hit two meaningless free throws with five seconds left for the final 17-point margin.
The Chargers are now 10-10 following Saturday's loss, but Arnold was anything but upset over the way the game unfolded.
"I was pleased with the first half as we had the ball a lot. We were down 16-12 at the break, so we were still in the game, but we switched defenses in the second half and got a little careless with the ball," Arnold began his post-game comments.
"Boyd-Buchanan is always attacking on offense and the reality is that they're a very good basketball team and their skill level is as good as anybody in Chattanooga. We figured they couldn't score if they didn't have the ball and that's why we played the way we did in the first half. But I'm happy because we competed on the night after a war at Notre Dame," he added.
Cox finished with 14 points to lead the victorious Buccaneers while Jenkins was next with 10 points. He also grabbed four rebounds.
Fikkert finished with 18 points to lead CCS and he also had half of his team's 18 rebounds.
CCS GIRLS 57, BOYD-BUCHANAN 35: The girls game wasn't nearly as close as the Lady Chargers raced to a 13-3 lead after the opening quarter and never looked back in winning for the 11th time in 20 games.
Joanna Smith was tops for the Lady Chargers with 19 points while Daria Kelly was next with eight. Shelby Balch and Allison Hughes followed with six points apiece.
Marisa McCalla and Maddie Wright were tops for the Lady Bucs with 15 and 10 points, respectively, with Wright snagging 11 rebounds and McCalla seven.
Chattanooga Christian will be on the road at Sequatchie County on Tuesday while Boyd-Buchanan will be at home to host Copper Basin.
BOYD-BUCHANAN 3 6 7 19 -- 35
CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN 13 17 12 15 -- 57
BOYD-BUCHANAN (35) -- Highfield, Parker, Abed 4, Hiland, Balthrop 4, Sewell 2, McCalla 15, Wright 10.
CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN (57) -- Hughes 6, Delashmitt 5, Henry 4, Loyal, R. Farlett 2, S. Farlett 2, Balch 6, Smith 19, Kelly 8, Dirkse 3, Van Horn, Royer 2.
3-POINT GOALS: Boyd-Buchanan none; Chattanooga Christian 4 (Hughes, Delashmitt, Smith 2).
BOYD-BUCHANAN 9 7 13 13 -- 42
CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN 4 8 3 10 -- 25
BOYD-BUCHANAN (42) -- R. Walker 2, Allen 2, Evans, Arendale 2, McMillan 7, Cox 14, Nason, Covington, Macon 2, A. Walker 3, Jenkins 10, Hodge, Clarke.
CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN (25) -- Matthews, Rhodes, Jones 4, Card, Fikkert 18, Alston, Fortmiller, Dirkse 1, Aldridge 2, Farlett.
3-POINT GOALS: Boyd-Buchanan 5 (McMillan, Cox 3, A. Walker); Chattanooga Christian 1 (Jones).
(Email John Hunt at email@example.com)