In a basketball game between teams with drastically contrasting styles, controlling the pace of the game meant being in control of Saturday’s Region 3-A boys’ high school quarterfinal at Arts & Sciences.
It proved to be the host team.
The Patriots’ quickness helped them to a quick start, and they managed to maintain a quick tempo throughout most of their 54-41 victory over Sale Creek.
Arts & Sciences (10-14) will host the rest of the tournament, which resumes with girls’ quarterfinals Monday. The Patriots play again Tuesday against Lookout Valley on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Sale Creek ended its season 15-12.
CSAS led from the moment Johnathan Kurtz scored on a baseline drive 30 seconds into the game and built the advantage to 27-12 nearing midway of the second quarter.
“They were not as quick as we were,” CSAS coach Mark Dragoo said. “They knew we were going to pressure them, but there’s no way they could mimic that in practice. Pressuring the ball is what we had to do because we have quickness and athleticism. We have to use that.”
The Panthers did regroup and managed to close the half on a 12-4 run to get within seven points.
“We were getting a little lazy with our passes,” Dragoo said.
Sale Creek was again within seven after Chase Janow made a 3-pointer from the right corner off an inbound situation at 4:54 of the third quarter. But once CSAS went up 39-28 on Chaison Gordon’s basket in the lane 1:47 later, the lead was double digits the rest of the way.
“We expended a lot of energy in the second quarter just getting back a little bit,” Sale Creek coach David Helton said. “I felt good about where we were, being down seven after trailing by so much early. But they kept up with the constant ball pressure and we didn’t handle it very well.
“You can’t play in a game like this and have 24 turnovers and expect to win. We didn’t execute. They kind of took us out of everything we wanted to do.”
Patrick Taylor, whose speed caused the Panthers numerous problems, led the Patriots with 16 points. Kurtz didn’t score again after the opening field goal until late in the third quarter, but he ended up matching Gordon with 12 points.
Janow’s 14 points topped Sale Creek. Preston Reavis scored his 11 points in the last two and a half quarters.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or email@example.com.