Nobody mentioned the L-word when the Colonels fell behind by 11 points late in the first half.
Nobody mentioned the L-word again when the Colonels squandered a nine-point lead in the final 2:48 of the fourth quarter.
“Nobody on this team hung their heads — in the first half or at the end of the fourth quarter,” Cass’ Chris Darden said. “We all knew we had worked too hard to lose this game.”
Tied at 55-all after regulation, the Colonels wasted no time in taking full command of the final four minutes.
Cass raced out to a seven-point lead on Trez Thompson’s 3-point play and back-to-back baskets by Justin Reed and Darden, who scored the game’s final basket with a minute to play.
“It was just a matter of us being able to hit our shots and playing better defense in the second half,” coach Greg Scott said. “Although they [the Dragons] were able to fight back and tie us, it was nice to finally be in a position to win.”
Excel 61, Christian Heritage 41
Coach Jon-Michael Nickerson is beginning to feel a lot like Rodney Dangerfield, the late comedian who always felt he never got any respect from any one.
His Excel Eagles are 18-1 overall, a perfect 7-0 in Region 6A-A, but are ranked 18th in the latest state-wide polls for Class A private schools.
“One week we are in the top 10, and then we fell to No. 18,” said Nickerson during Tuesday night’s bus ride home from Dalton, where the Eagles defeated Christian Heritage, 61-41.
As it turned out, the Tuesday night road trip was a welcome change of pace for the Excel coach.
“Once the regular season is over, all our postseason games will be on the road,” Nickerson said. “So for us, playing on the road is fine.”
Of Excel’s final six regular season games, three are on the road and three are at home. Excel’s next scheduled game is on the road against Darlington this coming Friday. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.
Against Christian Heritage, the visiting Eagles broke it open with a 19-4 second quarter. It was 10-10 after the first quarter.
“We played great defense that quarter,” Nickerson said.
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