Log in

Top Stories        News         Sports

Snatching victory from jaws of defeat

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Javen Criswell fights through the defense under the bucket.Javen Criswell fights through the defense under the bucket.

By Brian Besch
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Down by as much as 15 points Friday in Dallardsville, Big Sandy completed a frantic fourth-quarter comeback to take down district opponent Sabine Pass 55-50.

The contest started a little slow offensively, but would soon pick up. Sabine Pass was kept off the scoreboard for the first five minutes of the game. The only problem for the Wildcats was they scored just four themselves.

After an 8-8 first quarter, the visitors put up 14 and 19 in the second and third. Big Sandy kept pace with Tavian Battise, Jamesley Flowers and Javen Criswell doing the heavy lifting in the scoring column.

The Sharks would lead by as much as 15 in the final quarter, and that is when Big Sandy answered.

“We had to change something up,” Wildcat coach Kevin Foster said. “We are a man-to-man team, but we decided to go with a 1-2-2 three-quarters court pressure. What we try to do is just take the ball out of some guys’ hands and see if they will take quick shots. They were taking quick shots and they were missing them. Then, we changed our half-court defense to a 2-3 extended, trying to get out on the shooters and make them slow down. I thought they were executing their man stuff really good; it was just a change of pace. Them missing some shots and us making plays, the next thing you know, we are in the game and had the momentum. Basketball is a game of momentum, especially when you have two teams that are pretty good. We ended the game with the momentum.”

A 19-0 run in the fourth quarter took the ‘Cats from down 15 to ahead 51-47. They secured that lead with 1:20 to go in the game. Sabine Pass hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to bring the contest to within one with 30 seconds left.

Flowers went to the free throw line with 18 seconds to go and hit both to go back up by three. Sabine Pass called a timeout with 12 seconds, however a five-second violation on the following inbounds pass gave Big Sandy the ball back. The Wildcats would miss both free throws, but a steal would seal it.

Flowers and Criswell each scored 17, and Battise had 10 points. Criswell had 11 points in the fourth quarter, while Flowers added nine over those same eight minutes.

Other than for one day, Friday was the first time Big Sandy has had its entire team together since Nov. 30. After clinching a playoff berth Tuesday, there is an outside chance they could still tie for third place in the district, but help from others is needed to do so. If the Wildcats end the season in fourth place, they will take on a district champion, likely Mumford or Somerville.

Evadale is currently leading District 25-2A, followed by West Hardin and Sabine Pass.

Foster said his team needs some momentum going into the playoffs. They will have a tough district match and plan to schedule another challenge to get the group some time together on the court.

“It is obviously nice to have everybody back, but we’ve got some work to do,” the coach said. “We’ve got a short time to try to gel together and the main thing we want to do is get better each game. We are at Evadale on Tuesday and then we will play a warm-up game, then (the postseason) starts. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter, we just want to try to get better and start coming together like we did at the beginning of the year. We had a lot of people not playing their natural position, and when you are constantly shuffling your lineup around, it is tough. In the long run, maybe it will help us, because we’ve got a lot of guys that have a lot of experience now and have played a lot of minutes. That can’t do anything but help you.”

Say something here...
symbols left.
You are a guest
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.