Predators clamp down on War Eagles
FOX CREEK 59, WAGENER-SALLEY 47
BY SCOTT RODGERS
NORTH AUGUSTA — The Predators got off to a slow start, but in the middle quarters they clamped down to get a 59-47 victory.
Fox Creek (12-6, 7-0 Region 4-A) kept its perfect region record intact thanks to a strong effort in the second and third quarters. In those quarters, the Predators held Wagener-Salley (10-8, 4-3) to 14 points combined.
“I saw our practice yesterday,and I felt like we were going to come out a bit flat tonight, and we recognized that we needed to come out with some defensive intensity,” Fox Creek head coach Andre Baskett said.
The havoc created by the Predator defense frustrated the War Eagles, and it was apparent to head coach Earl Seeley.
“Turnovers and missed free throws, as a matter of fact, those are the things I stressed at halftime,” he said. “We still continued to miss free throws, and we had some turnovers, and they turned those turnovers into points.”
The War Eagles started out well, leading by three at the end of the first. Malcolm Stroman, who had 12 points on the night, stole an inbound pass after a Trey Davis layup to build the lead. The Predators turned that into a two-point lead going into the half with Martrell Lee’s traditional 3-point play to give Fox Creek a lead.
The third quarter is where the game was decided, however, with Fox Creek opening on a 12-0 run.
When asked what he told the team at the half, Baskett kept it simple.
“‘Play like it’s your last game.’ It’s really that simple,” he said. “We played man and played to the best of our abilities and cause havoc. We wanted to put a lot of pressure on them and stop (RJ Tyler), the big man, and (Stroman); they’re their two best players.”
Fox Creek got strong games from Chris Harmon and Marques Sumner. Harmon had 16 points, and Sumner followed it up with 15. The War Eagles’ Tyler led all scorers with 17.
The War Eagles going cold in those middle two quarters was what sealed their fate.
“I think we came out a little flat in the second half and missed some layups,” Seeley said.
“They came out strong, and once again, we just missed too many free throws and had too many turnovers.”
It wasn’t all good news for the Predators, however. The team learned that Deondre Baskett’s knee injury is of the season-ending variety. Baskett is already rehabbing, and it is expected that he will make a full recovery.
Fox Creek looks to continue its run through the region when it hosts North on Tuesday. Wagener-Salley looks to get back to its winning ways on the same day at Williston-Elko.
WS 18 8 6 15 - 47
FC 15 13 20 11 - 59
Fox Creek (12-6, 7-0 Region 4-A)—Brandyn Quiller 2 2-2 7, DJ Curry 3 0-0 7, Marques Sumner 7 1-2 15, Brandon Gladney 1 0-0 2, Martrell Allen 1 1-1 3, Chris Harmon 8 0-2 16, Corrin Cannon 1 2-4 4. Totals 26 6-11 59.
3-pointers: Quiller, Curry.
Wagener-Salley (10-8, 4-3 Region 4-A)—Malcolm Stroman 6 0-6 12, RJ Tyler 6 4-6 17, Kavon Mitchell 1 0-0 2, Duane Davenport 0 1-4 1, Gregg Hicks 4 0-0 8, Justin Gray 1 0-0 3, Trey Davis 1 0-0 2, Keion Miller 0 0-2 0, Jalen Gleaton 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 5-18 47.
3-pointers: Tyler, Gray.
FOX CREEK GIRLS 50, WAGENER SALLEY 26
Fox Creek got a strong game from both Stephanie Bloedel and Keiana Green and cruised to a win over Wagener-Salley.
The Predators (6-9, 5-2 Region 4-A) nearly doubled up the War Eagles (0-15, 0-7). Bloedel led all scorers with 18 points and Green was right behind her with 14.
Dominique Moore, who just returned this week from leg surgery, also added in six points.
“She’s just trying to get into her form, she does a tremendous job rebounding and when she’s in she is one of our better inside players,” Fox Creek head coach Richard Brady said. “First half we were all a little sluggish, we missed a bunch of easy shots. Then she hit some inside shots and got us going.”
Ken Tucker’s squad only scored 16 points across the final three frames after scoring 10 in the first.
“We were a little shorthanded tonight, and some of our girls had to play a little more than what they were ready for and what they were used to,” he said. “We got winded, and once it got away from us, we weren’t able to make a stop, and I thought there was one possession in the third where we got it to 10. Then we had a turnover and their girl made a two and we were never to make a stop after that.”
Brady was unsure why his team came out so slow.
“I thought we were playing hard, but we weren’t playing with the intensity we need to play with,” he said. “They made some good shots and got loose a few times and made a couple of easy shots. Our girls stayed after it, and I felt like we played good man defense, and we hope that pressure can wear on people as time goes on. I think that’s what ended up happening tonight.”
WS 10 2 8 6 - 26
FC 12 7 14 17 - 50
Fox Creek (6-9, 5-2 Region 4-A)—Taylor Sheppard 1 0-0 2, Haley Bryant 2 0-0 4, Stephanie Bloedel 5 8-14 18, Angelica Johnson 1 0-0 2, Summer Payne 1 0-0 2, Keiana Green 6 1-7 14, Dominique Moore 3 0-0 6. Totals 19 9-21 50.
Wagener-Salley (0-15, 0-7 Region 4-A)—Morgan Foster 3 0-0 9,My’Undrea Landy 5 1-4 11, Alexia Toland 1 0-2 2, Traira Thompson 2 0-0 4. Totals 11 1-6 20.
3-pointers: Foster (3).