11/23/10 — Parrott spolis Gator's season opener

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Parrott spolis Gator's season opener

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on November 23, 2010 1:47 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Too many turnovers.

Not enough rebounds.

That is the basic synopsis of Spring Creek's 58-50, season-opening loss to Parrott Academy on Monday night. The Gators' played with solid effort, but could not close a late gap as the Patriots made key shots and grabbed pivotal rebounds.

"We are definitely searching for an identity," said Gators head coach Taylor Jones. "We have a lot of new guys and some of our returners are playing new positions, so it's going to take some time for everyone to learn their roles."

The Gators built an 8-3 advantage and led 12-9 after one quarter.

Parrott battled back in the second quarter behind forward Chase Ward-McEwen, who scored seven points and pushed his squad ahead 26-24 at the halftime break.

The third quarter belonged to the Patriots, who continued to crash the board and score on second-chance opportunities. Center Matt McLaughlin sank a reverse layup and helped give Parrott a five-point lead heading into the fourth period.

"I actually thought we did a little better job in the third quarter on the glass," said Jones. "We just made way to many little mistakes that kept us from winning."

The Gators (0-1 overall) cut the lead to three points with two minutes left in the game on a 3-point basket from reserve guard Cody Alphin. After a defensive stop the Gators had a chance to tie the game, but a turnover in the open court nullified the possession.

Following a missed free throw on the front end of a 1-and-1, the Gators failed to box out and McLaughlin grabbed a critical rebound. With time running down, Spring Creek was forced to foul and the Patriots put the game away.

Ward-McEwen led Parrott with 25 points and eight rebounds. McLaughlin added 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Patriots out-rebounded the Gators 43-31 on the night.

Kenneth Freeman paced the Gators with 15 points and nine boards. Gerald Ulmer added 10 points and five rebounds. Alphin scored all nine of his points in the second half.

Spring Creek entertains Lejeune on Nov. 29.