Turnovers, poor shooting costs Charles Henderson in regionals

Published 10:01 pm Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dothan – The Charles Henderson High School boy’s basketball team turned the ball over 27 times in a 50-44 loss to Escambia County at the Dothan Civic Center on Thursday.

Neither team looked comfortable in the low scoring affair. The teams combined for just 14 points in the second quarter.

Escambia County pressured the Trojans for the entire contest, something that Charles Henderson had little trouble with early.

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“We were hitting to open spaces all day, putting the ball on the floor, then we stopped,” Chrales Henderson head coach Carl Hollis said. “We didn’t hit the gaps and pass the basketball, we just slung it around and they picked it off.”

Charles Henderson led for the majority of the contest including an 8-1 advantage early.

Escambia County reclaimed the lead with 10 seconds remaing in the half, 18-16, but quick ball movement by the Trojans put the ball into the hands of Joshua Noel, who put in a lay-in at the halftime buzzer to tie the game at the break.

Charles Henderson would play just six players and neither team called a timeout in the fast-paced first half.

“We’ve played those types of games all season,” said Escambia County head coach Earlando Courtney. “Our conditioning program is one of the best in the state. Charles Henderson would not go away and we had to stay with them.”

The Trojans built a four-point advantage early in the second half with baskets from Noel, Tyler Mitchell and John Johnson. The turnover bug finally caught up to them, however, as Escambia County was able to use free opportunities to quickly retake the lead, 29-26, with 2:48 left in the third quarter.

Da’Vantez Jackson drilled a three-pointer to re-tie the game. Escambia County would score the last basket of the quarter to lead heading into the fourth.

Ahead, 40-37, with 3:12 left in the game, Charles Henderson again let poor ball handling bite them. Three turnovers and two costly fouls helped Escambia County score 10 points and build a six-point lead from which the Trojans could not overcome.

“We didn’t execute on offense, we were too frantic,” senior forward Tyler Mitchell said. “We didn’t play like we were capable of playing, we never slowed down.”

Mitchell led the team with a double-double scoring 14 points and hauling in 12 boards.

Jackson finished the game with 10 points and seven rebounds. Joshua Noel added nine for the Trojans while Robert Lee scored seven.

Charles Henderson shot 39 percent for the game and was just 2-for-9 from three-point range.

On a bright note, the Charles Henderson defense forced 21 turnovers and outrebounded Escambia County 34-25 for the game.

The Trojans finish the season 19-7.