Down 28-23 after the second quarter, Spring Creek head coach Taylor Jones reminded his players in the locker room that they had been in situations like this before.
He knew that his team could overcome adversity and not panic about the halftime deficit.
The Gators came out of the locker room and played like a different team in the second half, outscoring Parrott Academy 34-23 the rest of the way to beat the Patriots 66-51 on Thursday afternoon.
“It feels great to get the win,” Jones said. “In the first half we played about as bad as we can play. We didn’t have a lot of energy, and we didn’t shoot the ball well.
“We went in at halftime and challenged them. We told them we didn’t think they were tough enough and that they didn’t deserve to win the way they were playing, and that sparked our guys.”
Spring Creek’s combination of Demartae Bizzell and Dominique Morse led the way for the Gators. Bizzell, who was held scoreless in the first quarter, had a game-high 24 points, while Morse came on strong to finish with 12 points. It was Bizzell who had a key three-pointer with two minutes left in the third quarter to give Spring Creek its first lead of the game.
After the game, coach Jones had nothing but nice things to say about the way his team battled back in the second half.
“They just love playing with each other and they have each other’s backs,” Jones said. “This team is as good as any I’ve had in 13 years of wanting to play together. I thought we played extremely well in the second half.”
Matthew Huntley led the way for Parrott Academy scoring 14 points, but the Patriots faded at the end of the game, scoring only 13 points in the fourth quarter.
After a tough loss against Wayne Christian on Wednesday night, coach Jones was impressed with the composure the Gators showed on Thursday afternoon.
“The ball finds energy,” Jones said. “I tell them that all the time, and if you don’t have energy, things aren’t going to go your way.
“Somebody said we got some breaks and the ball bounced our way, well, we made our breaks and that was the biggest difference.”