By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
Sometimes in the sport of basketball, you get ugly wins.
Somerset Christian School got one of the those ugly wins on Friday evening at Charlie Correll Memorial Gymnasium, as the Cougars overcame a sloppy beginning to pick-up a 56-44 victory over Micah Christian Academy.
Coming into Friday night’s game against the Lions of Micah Christian, the Cougars hadn’t played a game since Saturday, December 15, when they fell to Pulaski County by a score of 50-42. One could tell that Somerset Christian hadn’t played a game in a while, because they struggled in the opening minutes of play.
“I don’t what happened at the start of the game -- I don’t know if was lack of toughness or lack of maturity,” began Shane Skaggs, the head coach of the Cougars. “We definitely weren’t ready to play, whatever the reason was. (The long lay-off) was part of it. I’m not one to make excuses, so I don’t want to let the boys off the hook.”
Somerset Christian had a lot of opportunities to jump out to a big and early lead over the Lions, but they were missing too many easy shots and lay-ups. With the lack of production from the starting five, Skaggs put the reserves in and let them go to work just over two minutes into the contest.
“You can’t start a game out shooting 0 of 6,” said the Cougar hoops coach. “The best way to describe the way we played tonight is soft. If we show up tomorrow with the same type of performance, we’re going to struggle. I’m not taking anything away from Micah, because they play hard and are a scrappy bunch, but we should have flexed our muscles a little bit more. We also should have shot the ball better than we did.”
A free-throw from Tanner Lewis, along with a jump shot from Brandon Eades, allowed the Cougars to take a 4-2 lead. Micah Christian would then respond with an 8-0 run that included a pair of three-pointers to run out to a 10-4 lead.
The original five starters would come back in the game for Somerset Christian, this time playing with a lot more fire and intensity. The change was noticed, as the Cougars ended the opening quarter on a 9-0 run, with baskets coming from Tyler Burton, Jacob Ricks, and Colby Alexander.
After one period of basketball in the books, Somerset Christian found themselves out front by a score of 13-10. That lead would continue to increase in the second frame, as the Cougars stretched their run all the way out to 20-3.
Alexander and Hunter Reed both began the quarter with a lay-up, giving the Cougars a seven-point, 17-10 advantage. After the Lions hit a trey to make it 17-13, Reed tallied seven straight points on his own to put Somerset Christian ahead by 11 at 24-13.
At the intermission, the Cougars went into the locker room with an 11-point lead, as they lead 30-19 over the visiting Lions.
Somerset Christian wasn’t finished though, as they kicked off the second half with another big run, this time of a 15-3 manner. After Reed tallied four straight points, Alexander got a lay-up and Burton made a jump shot, putting the Cougars 38-21. The run would conclude after a trey from Alexander, two free-throws from Ricks, and a lay-up from Reed.
Heading into the fourth and final quarter of play, the Cougars led, 51-36.
Reed, as usual, led the Cougars with a game-high 18 points. Alexander was the only other Somerset Christian player to hit double figures, as he finished with 11. Both Ricks and Burton chimed in with eight points each.
The Lions were led by the 14-point performance from Ben Smith.
The Cougars, who moved to 12-2 with the 12-point win over the Lions, returned to the court yesterday, when they hosted Heritage Christian. Look for details of Saturday’s match-up at Charlie Correll Memorial Gymnasium in Tuesday’s Commonwealth Journal sports section.
MCA - 10 9 17 8 - 44
SCS - 13 17 21 5 - 56
MICAH CHRISTIAN: Smith 14, Perez 10, Tinnel 9, Bobby 5, Felmy 2.
SOMERSET CHRISTIAN: Reed 18, Alexander 11, Ricks 8, Burton 8, Ellenberg 4, Mayne 3, Eades 2.