Chargers turn up the defensive heat
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 11, 2008 1:46 PM
With temperatures unseasonably warm outside, Terry Jones decided he needed to turn up the heat with a little full-court pressure.
With his team down by 10 points early in the second quarter, Jones -- in his second season as the Wayne Country Day boys basketball coach -- ordered up some on-ball pressure.
The result was an 11-0 run that helped the Chargers rally past Country Victoria NITCP, an Australian touring team, for a 64-52 victory on Wednesday evening.
Country Victoria had closed the first quarter on an 8-2 run and the visitors' lead grew to 23-13 on Stephen O'Brien's layup early in the second.
Jones called upon his team to ratchet up the pressure defensively and the result was seven forced turnovers and 11 unanswered points. Floronta Wynn started the run with a pair of free throws and Reco McCarter added a dunk and a putback.
Tim Hobbs' jumper and Wynn's 3-pointer capped the outburst with the Chargers in front for the first time at 24-23.
"We wanted to come out and see what we were working with," said Jones. "One of our weaknesses is sometimes we lack energy. Tonight we lacked energy in that first quarter, but midway through the second we turned it on and it kind of changed things around for us."
Jarrod Fryar knocked down a pair of free throws in the closing moments of the quarter and Country Victoria took a 30-29 advantage into the half.
Country Victoria, an efficient squad in its half-court offense, continued to struggle with Wayne Country Day's pressure, which forced eight more turnovers in the third quarter and led to a 10-0 surge.
"We buckled down and talked about it at halftime and they all committed themselves to (the defensive end)," said Jones. "They're a very skilled team and if you leave them in the half court set they'll rip you apart all night. We tried to extend the pressure and try to steal the ball before it gets across half-court and we did a good job."
Hobbs opened the scoring with a jumper and added a dunk and another jumper during the stretch as the margin grew to 53-39 entering the fourth quarter.
Hobbs finished with a game-high 18 points and McCarter added 17. Wynn chipped in 14. Josh Gregory and Brandon McCarter each had six.
"Those guys are monsters " said Jones of Hobbs and McCarter. "Wynn also does a lot for us. Every night those guys aren't always going to come out and lead for us like they should with points but they can find other ways with rebounds and steals and everybody can do that."
McCarter scored seven of his 17 points during the fourth quarter as the lead swelled to 57-40.
Wayne Country Day (8-5 overall) entertains Terra Ceia on Friday.
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