Calhoun blows by Bulldogs, 65-51

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 20, 2002

Sports Writer

BRUNDIDGE – The Calhoun Tigers boys basketball team proved why it is the top-ranked squad in Class 3A Friday at Pike County.

The Tigers raced to a 15-0 lead early and never looked back, knocking off the Bulldogs, 65-51 in an Area 2 showdown.

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The Bulldogs first field goal didn’t come until the 2:34 mark of the first period as Codie Terry knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 12. PCH hit just two-of-14 field goal attempts and committed six turnovers in the first quarter as Calhoun used a lethal transition offense to take a commanding 21-5 lead.

"That was the thing that upset me the most, we didn’t get back on defense early, because we have been doing that pretty well all year." Pike County head coach Danny Suber said.

"We can’t spot a team like Calhoun a 15-point lead and expect to come back and win. We can’t spot our B team a 15-point lead and expect to come back and win."

The Tigers built the margin to 32-13 midway through the second period, but PCHS countered with baskets from Jermaine Johnson and Nick Walker during a 9-2 run to end the half that cut the lead to 34-22. Calhoun shot 60 percent on

15-of-25 shooting in the first half while PCHS shot a dismal 34 percent.

PCHS scored six straight points to start the second half to trim the margin to six, but Calhoun erased all hopes of a comeback with 10-5 run to end the third quarter, pushing the lead back to double-digits, where it stayed for the remainder of the game.

The Bulldogs outrebounded the Tigers 33-25, but couldn’t overcome its horrendous shooting night. PCH finished the game shooting 31 percent (19-for-61) while Calhoun shot nearly 50 percent for the night. The Tigers also went to the free throw line 19 times, compared to the Bulldogs’ four attempts.

Nick Walker scored 14 points and Michael Walker added nine. The Bulldogs dropped to 4-5 on the year and 1-3 in the Area.

The Lady Bulldogs followed the same pattern as Calhoun opened up a 14-6 first quarter lead and outscored PCH 20-9 in the fourth quarter to prevail, 64-49 Friday.

Marla Boykin scored all eight of the Lady Bulldog points in the first period as PCHS cut the advantage to 14-8. PCH kept chipping away the rest of the half, slicing the margin to 23-21 on two free throws by Stephanie Caffie. Dee Dee Rodgers drained one-of-two free throws with nine seconds left in the half to cut the lead to 27-24 at intermission. The Lady Bulldogs hit just seven-of-16 free throws in the first half, and 14-of-28 for the game.

"We are weak shooting free throws right now," PCH head coach Leroy Bryant said. "We have to get better at the free throw line. In practice we work hard, but we’re probably shooting 50 percent from the free throw line right now, which you aren’t going to beat anybody shooting free throws like that."

The game stayed close through the third, thanks to a big quarter from Wennica Foster. Foster scored 10 of her team-high 16 points in the third, including a three-point play with 2:18 to go that cut the lead to 38-35. Foster also knocked down one-of-two free throws with five seconds remaining after an intentional foul, but the Lady Bulldogs couldn’t capitalize on the extra possession, preserving the Calhoun 44-40 lead.

The Lady Tigers sealed the win early in the fourth, forcing four turnovers and a missed shot and scoring six straight points to extend the lead to 50-40 with 6:47 left. After Foster’s steal and layup trimmed the advantage to 54-46 with 3:33 remaining, Calhoun answered with a 10-0 run as PCH lost for the second time to the Lady Tigers. PCH stands at 3-5 overall with the loss and 2-2 in Area 2.

"We started to run out of gas there, I can’t go deep on the bench because we’re so young," Bryant said. "We start getting tired in the fourth quarter and then we start making mistakes. We played hard, but we just don’t have any height or depth.

PCHS forced 23 turnovers, but also committed 26 in the loss. Boykin added ten points for the Lady Bulldogs and Caffie chipped in nine.

The PCH B-team couldn’t find an answer for Calhoun either, falling 55-46.