CENTER POINT — [This story is reposted because of technical difficulties.]
The Center Point Eagles boys were sick on Friday night, and not with the flu.
After a tight first half, the host Eagles dominated Pinson Valley through the final buzzer, winning by a 68-51 score.
“You always try to find small goals to motivate your team, so that was an achievement for us,” said Center Point coach Rodney Chatman.
The end result strongly resembled the last run-in of these Area 11 members last month, which saw the Eagles take an 18-point victory.
The Eagles used their height and athleticism to contest nearly every Indian attempt. Their smooth offensive stroke and shot-altering defense lifted Center Point to a commanding 40-24 halftime lead.
Junior guard Montego Hoskins dropped 13 points on Pinson in the first half. His partner in crime was sophomore Dedric Foreman, who went 4-for-5 from the field with eight points, two steals and four rebounds.
“We try to be versatile,” said Chatman. “The more people who understand how to play, the harder it is to guard.”
Indians coach Clint Argo went to a full-court press to start the third quarter and found immediate success. After only a minute and a half, the Tribe cut a 16-point deficit in half.
Pinson's talented backcourt put the visitors back in contention with nearly an entire half remaining. Senior Marcus Merriweather and junior Zack Jackson were putting their up-tempo skills to use. Merriweather finished with 13 points while Jackson rattled home 20.
But thanks to a veteran lineup, Center Point absorbed the Pinson charge and struck back to take control of the game for good.
The Eagles enjoyed a double-digit lead heading into the final quarter and only worsened the damage from that point on.
With the win, Center Point has won 11 of their last 12 games and has secured the Area 11 championship with a 5-0 record. Their final area contest will come next Friday versus Springville. The Indians (11-9, 3-2 area) will wrap up area play next Tuesday at Springville.
Chatman feels that focusing on the basic fundamentals will be the key to his teams success down the line.
“The main thing is being focused on the basics,” said Chatman. “Focus on the foundation of the game, like blocking out and defending.”