By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
Somerset Christian continued its strong start to the 2012-13 season on Saturday afternoon at Charlie Correll Memorial Gymnasium, as the homestanding Cougars came away with a 52-34 triumph over Wesley Christian.
With the 18-point victory over the visiting Riders, the Cougars are off to the best start ever under head coach Shane Skaggs, as they moved to a perfect 5-0 on the year with the victory on Saturday.
Skaggs was pleased to see his ball club pick-up a victory over a good Wesley Christian team.
“(Wesley Christian) is definitely a quality team with some nice players,” began Skaggs. “We knew it was going to be a tough and physical game. I liked our effort - we always have great effort each game. We’re still having a lot of breakdowns, but you can’t say anything about our effort.”
The Cougars never trailed in the contest, as they opened the game with a 6-0 run, paced by baskets from Tyler Burton, Daniel Ellenberg, and Devin Mayne. With 4:25 left in the first period, the Riders’ Dishawn Thompson converted on an ‘and one’ opportunity to bring an end to the Somerset Christian run of six unanswered points.
After one quarter of play, Somerset Christian led the Riders by a score of 13-7. Jacob Ricks paced the way for the Cougars in the opening frame, scoring four points.
Somerset Christian outscored Wesley Christian in the second stanza by a score of 16-8, allowing them to take a 14-point, 29-15 lead into the locker room at halftime. Colby Alexander came off the bench for the Cougars and delivered in a big way, hitting a pair of three-pointers en route to scoring eight points in the second quarter.
The Riders came out of the locker room ready to go, as they opened the second half with a 6-0 spurt. All six of those points came from Stephen Goble. Thanks to Goble’s strong play, the Riders cut Somerset Christian’s lead to eight points at 29-21.
With 2:32 left in the third quarter, a basket from Burton ended Wesley Christian’s 6-0 run, making the score, 31-21. Burton and Ricks would each add lay-ups in the final two minutes of the frame to give the Cougars a 35-21 advantage.
Points came at a premium in the third period, as both teams scored six points each. Basically, no team gained or lost anything.
Wesley Christian tallied a pair of baskets in the opening minutes of the fourth and final quarter to cut the Cougar lead to ten points at 35-25 lead. That would be as close the Riders would get though, as the Cougars went 7 of 11 from the free-throw line to take the game by a final tally of 52-34.
Hunter Reed paced the Cougars with a club-high 16 points, while Burton and Alexander both scored ten points each.
For the Riders, Goble poured in a game-high 17 points. Goble tallied 12 of his 17 points in the second half alone. Thompson finished the ballgame with nine points.
At the charity stripe, Somerset Christian went 8 of 14 from the charity stripe for a percentage of 57 percent. The Riders made 50 percent of their free-throws, as they went 6 of 12 from the free-throw line.
Somerset Christian, who moved to 5-0 with the victory, will return to action on Tuesday, November 27, when they will host the Winchester Christian Academy Warriors at Charlie Correll Memorial Gymnasium.
“It was a good win for us,” told the Cougar basketball head coach. “We’re happy with where we’re at right now. We’ve been good at times, but we’ve seen a lot of things that we need to work on. We are just taking baby steps towards our goals at the end of the season - I like the direction we’re going.”
“We had a great crowd that came out and supported us today. We want to thank the Commonwealth Journal and the radio guys (Josh McKinney and Mike Kerr) for coming out to the game.”
WC 7 8 6 13 - 34
SCS 13 16 6 17 - 52
WESLEY CHRISTIAN (3-2): Goble 17, Thompson 9, Kendrick 4, Hall 2, Clark 2.
SOMERSET CHRISTIAN (5-0): Reed 16, Burton 10, Alexander 10, Ricks 7, Lewis 4, Ellenberg 3, Mayne 2.