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Top of district within reach

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IMG 6588Joh’Vonn Scott gets the bucket and foul from a flying defender.

By Brian Besch
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Leggett basketball did what was needed to maintain second place in district Tuesday night, with a 63-47 win over Spurger in Dudley Dickens Gym.

The Pirates of Polk County did a good job of finding open teammates when buckets were made, but did not rebound or get to the loose ball with the quickness that Spurger showed. Joh’Vonn Scott led the team with eight points through two quarters. While Leggett did not play bad basketball in the first half, it did not live up to Coach Ra’Shod Jefferson’s standard for a squad making a playoff run. At the half, it was a tie game.

“We didn’t start off with the momentum that we normally start with,” Jefferson said. “It was fairly slow and they didn’t get out and play like I wanted them to in the first half. We had 20 something points in the first half (23), when we usually have that in the first quarter.

“We weren’t hustling to any loose balls on the defensive end and we weren’t crashing the boards. We were watching rebounds instead of going to it. Even though I want them to have confidence and faith in teammates and that every time that we are going to shoot we are going to score, we still have to go in and crash the boards. I went in and told them at halftime that if you keep playing like this, it will be hard to come out with a victory. If you want to win, wake up and play ball. We need to play our game.”

The final two quarters put the home crowd at ease. Leggett’s Joshua Perkins had 16 points and Jace Railey had just one less in the second half alone. Intensity picked up, especially on the defensive end of the floor. Leggett will still need to find more of an inside presence, especially once they reach the playoff bracket.

Perkins led the team with 23 points, Railey had 18, Scott 13 and Gavin Nichols eight.

The win puts Leggett at 7-1, trailing only Brookeland in district play by a game. Spurger and High Island are behind the Pirates, fighting for the final playoff spots.

“Last Friday, we played against Chester and the kids played a good game,” Jefferson said of the team’s recent 36-point win. “Everybody hustled and everybody played team ball. Today, we didn’t share the ball like I wanted them to share it. If we will wake up and play like we did in the first half of district, we won’t have any problems coming out on top.”

High Island is next on the schedule Friday, then a trip to rival Goodrich is Tuesday. Leggett will need to continue winning to control their own destiny. A road game at district leader Brookeland that could decide it is just two weeks away.

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