Sandy Creek, McIntosh split non-region clash

Sat, 01/12/2008 - 10:18pm
By: Kevin Wandra

Many teams usually don’t play with as much intensity in non-region games as they would in region games.

That certainly wasn’t the case Saturday when crosstown rivals Sandy Creek and McIntosh squared off in a non-region basketball doubleheader in Peachtree City.

The Sandy Creek girls opened the night with their fourth consecutive victory, 48-23 over the Lady Chiefs, and the McIntosh boys closed the night with a 69-60 victory over the Patriots.

The boys game was close throughout the entire contest; neither team managed to hold a double-digit lead until Robert Chubb sank a pair of free throws to put McIntosh ahead 59-49 with 2:56 remaining in the fourth quarter.

McIntosh appeared to be on the verge of pulling away from Creek in the third quarter, but the Patriots responded with a run that helped them swipe the lead.

Two Patrick Michel free throws early in the third quarter handed the Chiefs a 32-24 lead, but Creek answered with a 10-0 run to take a 34-32 lead.

Malcolm Jackson sparked the run with six points, included two highlight-reel layups.

Momentum was on Creek’s side, but McIntosh came back and went on a 9-0 run that put it back in front 41-34. The run featured four points from Michel and five from Jeremy Lampkin, who scored on a 3-pointer that hit nothing but net and a dunk off an alley oop off the backboard from Cameron Rich.

McIntosh led by at least four the rest of the way.

The Chiefs’ 2-3 zone defense, with imposing center Chubb manning the lane, caused problems for the Patriots. When Chubb left the game, Michel took over in the paint in McIntosh’s zone defense and was effective as well.

Neither Jackson (23 points) nor Blake Brewer (22 points), Creek’s two highest scorers, were afraid to take the ball into the paint and challenge Chubb and Michel. But it was McIntosh that played the role of the aggressor, continuously attacking the basket and drawing fouls; McIntosh went to the free throw line a whopping 49 times, making 24 free throws.

The referees weren’t as kind to Creek, which went 13-of-24 from the free throw line.

“We just kept attacking them, taking the ball to the basket and forcing Sandy Creek to foul,” McIntosh coach Jason Eisele said. “It’s something we have been talking about in practice lately, being on the attack offensively and getting to the charity stripe.”

McIntosh’s aggressiveness with the basketball led to one of its most balanced scoring efforts of the season. Three McIntosh players scored in double figures — Chubb (20 points), Michel (12) and Jake Tanis (11) — and Isaac Woodley scored eight.

McIntosh’s leading scorer heading into the game, sharp-shooting guard Rich, didn’t score against Creek. Eisele saw it as a positive sign that even though Rich failed to score, his teammates picked up the slack and delivered offensively.

“Teams like to focus on Cameron, which is fine,” Eisele said. “When that happens, we need our other guys to step up, which happened tonight. We’re starting to play well as a team. I really feel the guys are buying into what we’re doing.”

In the girls game, Creek’s talented backcourt duo, point guard Morgan Toles and shooting guard Kenneshia Rich, was too much for the Lady Chiefs.

Toles stood out at both ends of the court, running Creek’s offense with aplomb and putting immense pressure on the ball. And Rich was the perfect backcourt complement, making plays on offense and defense.

Creek established itself defensively right from the start, playing in-your-face man-to-man defense and deploying a full-court press that led to it holding the Lady Chiefs to two points in the first quarter while scoring 11. Creek’s attacking defense forced McIntosh into an inordinate amount of mistakes that plagued them in both halves.

The Lady Patriots ran McIntosh up and down the court en route to taking a commanding 20-4 lead midway through the second quarter on a 3-pointer by Rich and a long-range jumper by Toles.

Creek was set to blow out the Lady Chiefs on their home court, but Danette Hinton came off the bench and gave McIntosh a much-needed spark, scoring eight of her team-high 10 points to ignite a first half-closing 11-1 run that cut Creek’s lead to 21-15.

McIntosh was looking for its late run in the first half to carry over into the second half, but the Lady Patriots’ defense was suffocating in the entire second half, limiting McIntosh to eight points.

Creek saved its best for last, outscoring McIntosh 19-2 in the fourth quarter.

Rich led all scorers with 14 points, Toles had 13 and Jaquaye Okai added eight.

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