The Rossview Hawks were able to play on their home court for the first time in a month, but it was the Beech Buccaneers who were soaring after a 70-60 victory on Friday, Jan. 8.
As a result of CMCSS’s decision to postpone winter sports, the game was just the second RHS has played since Dec. 11; it is also their second game in as many days, as the team faced off against Creek Wood less than 24 hours prior to tipping off against the Bucs.
A coach’s goal is always to shut down one of their opponent’s go-to scorers, and Rossview was able to do that early on: Andrew Paige scored only four points in the first half for the Buccaneers. The only problem was that the Hawks had no answer for Kaleb Powell, who scored 12 in the first quarter and went into the half with a team-high 16. He was the centerpiece to his team’s 34-30 advantage.
After taking a 40-30 lead shortly into the third, the Hawks answered back with an 11-2 run that ended with the teams being separated by just one point before claiming a 48-47 lead, their first -- and last—of the night.
Over the final 11 minutes of play, the Buccaneers outscored Rossview 23-12 and came away with the 10-point victory. After only scoring four points in the first 16 minutes, Paige finished with 17, second on the team only to Powell’s 20.
Following a strong push by his team to put the game away midway through the fourth, Bucs’ head coach Kip Brown says he is pleased with the way his boys responded late.
“We came out hot and had a really good first quarter,” Brown said. “We hit a lull for about a quarter and a half and then we started playing a little bit smarter again, attacking the basket, making the extra pass and playing as a team more. We didn’t really play as five guys there for about a quarter and a half. [Rossview] is a good team and I am proud of our guys for coming on the road and beating a good team.”
After not being able to play games for 27 days and then playing in back-to-back days, Hawks’ head coach Johnny Jackson says fatigue did play a role in the game, but also tips his hat to an electric BHS squad.
“I would definitely say it affected us,” Jackson said. “I am not making excuses, but obviously it affects us. We played a tough team last night in Creek Wood and then turned right around and played a team that is leading their league over there, that is the best team over there.
“They’re a fine team to play, we would have struggled if we had fresh legs with them. We had some guys who were sucking wind, it is what it is — it's basketball and late into the season, that’s what we are going to get.”
In a time as uncertain as the 2020-2021 basketball season, health plays a major role in a team’s success, in terms of both the virus and wear and tear on players. Both coaches said their squads are healthy heading into their contest, with Jackson saying that he and his boys are doing everything they can to stay that way because, like all other teams, they want to play.
“We’re healthy,” Jackson said. “We do our best to do protocol. We dot our i’s and cross our t’s and do everything we can because we want to play. This is a fun group to have and they need to play as many games as they can so we will make sure we do things right.”
The Hawks will face district foe Montgomery Central at home next Monday, while Beech will travel to Station Camp on Friday to take on the Bison.
Beech (70): Kaleb Powell 20, Andrew Paige 17, Kristian Shaw 11, Jackson Long 6, Luke Flemming 5, Sam McClendon 3, Adrian Johnson 2, Bradley Wheeler 2, Xaviere Jones 2, JP Courtney 2
Rossview (60): Julian Hattfield 12, Messiah Ward 11, Bryant Rippy 8, Tim Williams 8, Ronald Jessemy 7, Ty Butler 5, Spencer Mimms 4, Eli Colvin 3, Bryson Burns 2