12/17/11 — Devilpups ease past Gators

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Devilpups ease past Gators

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 17, 2011 11:18 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- With his team trailing by 23 points early in the fourth quarter, Spring Creek head coach Taylor Jones implored his players not to quit.

The response was an effort Jones saw as one worth building on. The Gators refused to go away and built some valuable chemistry that could pay off later in the season in a 67-53 loss to Lejeune on Friday night.

The Devilpups built a 21-14 lead after one quarter behind eight points from Gaven Allen. Spring Creek pulled to within 26-21 on Adam Haggerty's jump shot. Lejeune consistently found holes in the interior of the Gators' defense as Allen added a pair of layups and Spring Creek forward Cody Boozer picked up his second foul.

Craig Wilson and Nick Cruz each knocked down a 3-pointer as the lead grew to 35-24 at the half.

The Devilpups turned turnovers into easy transition points and went on a 12-0 run in the third quarter as the deficit swelled to 50-29. Spring Creek went nearly four minutes without scoring during that stretch.

"They outplayed us," Jones said. "They came out in the third quarter and they were tougher than us right from the start. We usually start well in the third quarter and tonight we came out a little bit complacent.

"I don't think it was on purpose. I just think we didn't come out with a mindset of being tougher than they were."

The Gators battled back in the fourth quarter while Haggerty scored eight of his team-high 21 points. Wyatt Janning knocked down a long 3-pointer and senior forward Rashawn Edwards began to penetrate to the basket. Haggerty grabbed five rebounds and had three blocks. Edwards contributed 20 points and six rebounds.

"We're trying to teach our kids right now to play really hard," Jones said. "We're trying to teach them how to handle situations in games because we're young in some points. They didn't quit. They're not quitters, they're going to fight for four quarters. That's what I like about them.

"I told them in the locker room, 'you can play hard, but you've got to play smart and that starts with mental toughness. We've got to play through things more than what we did tonight.'"

Allen led Lejeune with 25 points.

Spring Creek (3-4) faces Princeton on Monday in the Bulldog Christmas Invitational. Game time is 8:30 p.m.