By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
FULTONDALE — Fultondale coach David Reed spent much of his Friday night in frustration.
His Wildcat squad had spent two full practice sessions preparing for the full-court, high-pressure defense that Holy Family Cristo Rey would bring. But when the Cats encountered it face to face, they didn't react well, and the Tornadoes took advantage during their 75-63 win in Class 2A Area 12 action.
The Tornadoes lived up to their nickname, with bodies flying all over the court, converting back-court turnovers into easy baskets.
"We prepared for this, but when our guys ran into it in person, they just panicked," Reed said.
Holy Family took apart the defensive on its offensive end, driving the lane or finding the back-door cutter. And when things started to get stuffy inside, a couple of quick treys opened things up.
The Cats committed 23 turnovers for the night, with 20 of them on Tornado steals. And to make matters worse, their floor shooting was off the mark -- 23-of-57 (40 percent), a number that looks better than it was thanks to a fourth-quarter rally attempt that cut the margin down from 26 points to 12. Holy Family was 29-for-56 (52 percent), and 63 percent inside the arc.
About the only thing that went well for Reed's squad was their free-throw shooting: 15-for-18 (83 percent).
Christian Hill led the Tornadoes (10-10, 4-1 area) with 25 points. Montrell Jackson and Justin Woplen scored 17 each and Ishmael Dukes added 10.
Antwan McCary was the only Wildcat in double figures with 17.
Fultondale (2-5, 1-3 area) plays Monday at Vincent, in a game scheduled to tip off at 3:30 p.m. to avoid a conflict with the BCS Championship football game that night.