A mistake-filled first half left Christian Heritage School’s boys basketball team looking for answers against Coahulla Creek.
Not long into the second half Monday night, the Lions showed they had solved the Colts’ riddle.
Christian Heritage reversed a 10-point halftime deficit and defended its home court in a 60-50 victory. In the girls game, Coahulla Creek won 57-39.
Trailing 28-18 at halftime, Christian Heritage (2-0) scored the first 10 points of the third quarter, tying the game for the first time since the opening minutes. Jake Porter converted back-to-back layups to knot the score with 5:40 left in the third quarter. His layup with 3:12 gave the Lions their first lead of the second half, and the hosts went into the fourth up 34-32.
“This team knew the first half was the worst half of basketball we’ve ever played,” Christian Heritage coach Anthony Moseley said. “They came out in the second half and gave it everything they had.”
Taylor Poteet gave Coahulla Creek (2-3) a 39-38 advantage early in the fourth quarter but Christian Heritage took the lead for good as Cameron Locke hit a 3-pointer with 4:19 left in the game. After Poteet was called for a foul with 48.6 seconds left, he received a technical foul for his reaction.
Locke converted all four of his free throws for a 55-47 lead and made two more on the next possession. He finished with a team-high 18 points, while Porter scored 17.
Coahulla Creek used the half-court trap effectively in the first half — the Colts forced 24 turnovers during the game — but coach Matthew Queener said there was a flaw after the break.
“We gave up the middle,” he said. “We knew they’d look to attack that, and we just never stopped it.”
Coahulla Creek’s other downfall was shooting only 27 percent (14-for-51) from the field.
“You’ve got to hit shots,” Queener said. “Our shooting percentage fell into the twenties.”
The first half was an offensive struggle for Christian Heritage, which had trouble setting up its offense without a turnover. Ahead 12-11, the Colts forced turnovers on the next four Lions possessions and built a 17-11 edge and 18-13 lead after one quarter. Coahulla Creek ended the half with an 8-2 run sparked by Poteet’s two jumpers. He finished with a team-high 18 points, and Dee McCord aided the Colts with 17 points.
“In the first half, we were trying to block shots,” Moseley said. “We weren’t playing good defense.”
• Coahulla Creek girls 57, Christian Heritage 39: The Lady Colts (2-3) used a second-quarter run to change their fortunes in a game during which there were 60 fouls combined and five girls fouled out.
Christian Heritage (1-2) led 12-6 and 21-15 before Coahulla Creek ended the first half with an 11-3 run. The third quarter started in Coahulla Creek’s favor as Haley Reece made a 3-pointer and Nikki Ross converted a 3-point play for a 32-21 lead.
“In the second quarter, we went on a run,” Coahulla Creek coach Ryan Long said. “In the second half, I think we cleared our minds a bit.”
Reece had a game-high 18 points and Sydney Storey finished with 11. Ross added seven points and was the lone Lady Colt to receive five fouls and depart from the game. Christian Heritage had four players — Mollie Crawford, Ransley DeFoor, Sarah Massengale and Pressley Poag — foul out. The teams combined to shoot 74 free throws.
The game changed when Morgan King and Reece hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game at 21 with less than three minutes left in the first half.
“We got into some foul trouble,” Christian Heritage coach Heather Lowery said, “and they hit those two 3-pointers. We’re still trying to figure out where we are. We don’t need to be getting down on ourselves.”
Massengale led the Lady Lions with 15 points and 13 rebounds.