Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Catch up ... games last Friday and Saturday

Sherwood boys close strong, down Southland; Lady Raiders roll SCA girls Led by Wesley Pittman and Brannan Anthony, the Eagles earn a big road win Friday against Southland. Posted: 9:58 PM Jan 15, 2010 Reporter: Scott Chancey Email Address: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sherwood boys beat Southland; Lady Raiders roll Sherwood's Brannan Anthony led the Eagles with 17 points on Friday night in a 55-39 drubbing of Southland in Americus. AMERICUS — One common denominator in the Sherwood Christian boys’ nine previous wins before Friday’s contest at Southland Academy was building double-digit leads. Another was nearly blowing them. That was not the case, however, against the GISA Class AAA Raiders as coach Matt Ruta’s Class AA Eagles went on a 17-3, second-half run for a 55-39 victory That’s the best we’ve closed a game by far,” Ruta said. “We had really focused on closing games out during the past couple of weeks.” Brannan Anthony led Sherwood (10-4) with 17 points, followed by Wesley Pittman and Gary Holloway with 10 each. Calling in from the road after previous close wins, Ruta often expressed frustration at his team’s lack of intensity near game’s end. Pittman also had experienced that frustration but did not show any after Friday’s win. Making two 3-pointers during Friday’s game, Pittman said the timing could not be better for Sherwood to build a lead and hold it since the region playoffs are a month away. “In the playoffs, all the teams are good so they are going to make a run at you,” Pittman said. “Hopefully, we can repeat this in the future.” Ruta, however, did become frustrated at times during the first half after Sherwood built a double-digit lead and had trouble adjusting to Southland’s slower pace. “We play best at a fast pace, and Southland did a really good job in slowing things down,” Ruta said. Sherwood began its game-changing run with defense when Anthony blocked a Rolie Hancock shot. Eagles teammate John Schramm then made a steal that resulted in a Pete McSwain layup and 31-24 lead. A strong move for a layup by Holloway kept the momentum from the third quarter as the Eagles’ defense created key turnovers, leading to a 46-27 lead in the fourth quarter. The Eagles, from there, never looked back. “Our defense was the key,” Anthony said. “It just came up big for us. We played hard on defense, especially in the second half, and had great energy all the way around.” Raiders coach Ernest Scott, on the other hand, is just trying to build on his team’s youth and inexperience. It struggled when Sherwood sped up the pace at game’s end. “They got a lot of transitional baskets and that came from unforced turnovers,” Scott said. “We didn’t get back enough in transition.” Southland (6-11) was led by Andres Chaparro with 15 points, followed by Jose Hernandez with 10.

The Eagles had no trouble Saturday, beating Westwood for the second time this season. Though. SCA coach Matt Ruta wasn’t exactly pleased with the effort one night after what he called his team’s most complete game of the season in a win against Southland on the road. “I think we were tired,” said Ruta, whose record is now 11-4 overall. “We got up big by halftime and led by about 25 or 30 going into the fourth quarter. I guess we played OK.” John Schramm led SCA with 15 points, followed by Wesley Pittman with 10. Jake Kotter and Mason Jones each led Westwood with 6. If SCA can beat SGA on Tuesday in its region showdown, the Eagles will be alone in first place. SGA comes into the game 2-0 in region, while Sherwood is 3-0.

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