Prep Hoops: Golden Eagles give great effort in loss
East Davidson suffered its third straight Central Carolina Conference loss Monday at Central Davidson.
Head coach Matt Jacobs did not feel too bad about it. His depleted team playing without two starters gave the Spartans a tough night, before dropping the 49-42 contest. Josh Craven is out with a severe high ankle sprain and Braxton Shetley is still recovering from an ankle injury himself. Even without those two, the Golden Eagles competed with one of the top teams in the conference.
“I thought we did a good job of executing our gameplan,” said Jacobs. “If we decided to go toe-to-toe with them it would have been easier for them. They are just a little better talent wise than we are. That is the best team in our conference and we hung with them.”
Central tried to put the game out of reach in the first half taking an 11-point lead to the locker room. East (2-13) adjusted and made a furious charge at them.
Matthew Johnson hit a runner with a little more than a minute gone in the third quarter. Next trip down Taylor Booze posted up and converted with a layup. He also dropped in a lob pass from Austin Miller, then Andy Chaney hit a baseline jumper. The quick 8-0 run trimmed the lead to three.
Central turned to league MVP candidate Chris Pompey and the senior came through without much resistance. Three straight times he cut right down the middle of the lane and was fed a pass for easy layups. Three more additional points by his teammates allowed the lead to extend back out to 10.
“Coach [Brian] Hege made an adjustment there and we should have been able to adjust to it,” said Jacobs. “My guys were not able to adjust on the fly and by the time we did adjust, they had already scored a few in a row and gotten some space. In a game like this you do not need much space.”
East got as close as six on Miller’s 3-ball from the wing with 4:23 left, but struggled to score consistently to pull back the remaining deficit.
“If we get a few more makes under the basket that we missed and if half the turnovers go away, then maybe it is a different game,” said Jacobs. “But some guys stepped up tonight and I was proud of the effort and focus.”
Notes: Central was just 6-of-17 from the free throw line while East had just four attempts ... Pompey and Derek Chavis had 13 each for the Spartans with Booze finishing with 12.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631 or firstname.lastname@example.org.