First Posted: 12/29/2008
It may not have been pretty but the East Surry boys did come away winners, defeating Patrick County (Va.) 55-52 in a hotly contested Granite City Classic Christmas tournament match up.
The Cardinals were down by as much as 15 points in the first half, battling back behind the second half play of senior forward Patrick Marion.
Marion had 16 of his game-high 18 points in the second half, including the Cardinals first 6-points of the third quarter and a gigantic rebound putback with under a minute to play in the game to give his team a 4-point lead.
Patrick County came out gunning, with the Cougars full court pressure forcing East Surry to commit turnovers and stay out of their offense.
Subsequently, the Cardinals were down 23-8 at the end of the first quarter, but an 11-6 second quarter run helped to close the gap and keep East in the thick of things.
To start the second half the Cardinals began to pick apart the Patrick press, with Marion picking up three straight buckets to cut the Cougar lead to 29-25 early in the third quarter.
East Surry coach Jason Anderson said the turnaround from first to second half did not come from any half time adjustment, but from his team playing against the Patrick County defense the way they had been taught.
I didnt tell them anything any different than what I told them before the game, we just started executing, Anderson said. We got the ball where we wanted to get it. They extended that 1-3-1 (press) and our guards just kind of freaked out on us in the first quarter. I told them, the same things are open and its even more open than it normally is when they extended it that high. We start throwing the ball in the middle and we are going to get it to our big guys to shoot lay ups and that is all it took. It wasnt a major coaching change it was just doing the simple things your supposed to do.
East Surrys Andrew Hunter hit a lay up to cut the Patrick lead to 41-39 early in the fourth quarter, followed by two consecutive steals by senior Walt Tuttle to give the Cardinals the lead at 43-41 with 5 minutes left to play.
Patrick tied the score again at 44-44 off a three pointer from Lucas Terry, but a 6-point run by the Cardinals gave them the lead for good. When Marion snatched a rebound off the front of the rim and immediately put it in the Cardinals led by four with 53 seconds left to play and would hold on for the 55-52 win.
Anderson said he challenged his team to work hard to rebound the ball in the second half and several key boards helped the Cardinals to the win.
Patrick Marion said after the game that he and his teammates did make a effort to work harder rebounding the ball after half time and that once his team realized how to beat the Patrick press easy baskets were all that awaited them.
We werent boxing out good, especially me, I can if I want to but I got in the second half and did better, Marion said. We had something drawn up but we just werent running it, but once we hit it we started getting lay ups which is where most of my points came from.
East Surrys Andrew Hunter also had a strong second half, scoring 9 of his 11 points in the fourth quarter. Walt and Spence Tuttle each had 8 points for the Cardinals behind Marions 18 and Hunters 11.
Sophomore guard Jacob Reynolds led Patrick County with 15 points, followed by Lucas Terry with 11.
I told the guys in the locker room, we spotted a team 15 points at the beginning and we had 22 turnovers and we still won the basketball game, East Surrys Anderson said. We didnt do anything to win a basketball game tonight we just happened to win one. Now you think about what happens if we start doing the small things. We start executing and getting the ball where we want to get it, we hit our foul shots at the end of the game, turn the ball over 10 times instead of 20 times. We are making things harder on ourselves than we have to.
East Surry will take on Union Pines at 4 p.m. today with Patrick scheduled to face Mount Airy at 8:30 p.m.
East Surry 55,
Patrick Co. (Va.) 52
East Surry 8 11 13 23 55
Patrick Co. 23 6 7 16 52
East Surry Patrick Marion 18, Andrew Hunter 11, S. Tuttle 8, W. Tuttle 8, Lawson 4, Covington 1
Patrick Co. Jacob Reynolds 15, Lucas Terry 11, Bowman 9, Wilkinson 6, Reynolds 7, Heath 2, Nelson 2