“Lately we’ve been going through some four- or five-minute stretches where we don’t score,” Heritage coach Kevin Terry said. “Then our opponents go on a run.”
It was Heritage making the runs early in the game.
“We looked like we were out of synch,” Duffie said. “Groggy or lethargic is the best word for the first half.”
Heritage led 12-10 halfway through the opening quarter before scoring six straight points for its biggest advantage. Bautista’s jumper for the Cats sparked a 14-0 run, which started with around two minutes left in the first quarter and ended when Tyler McConey scored for the Generals. The spurt was the best Dalton looked in the half.
Bautista finished 13-for-16 from the field, while Rico Mears had 16 points and eight rebounds and Rucker tallied 13 points and six rebounds.
The Generals’ Cameron Sterlin had a team-high 26 points, with Cody Sanders’ 14 following.
• Northwest 60, CSAS 39: The Bruins (8-1) did the opposite of the Cats and played their best basketball from the beginning.
Northwest scored 13 of the game’s first 15 points. The Bruins led 23-11 after one quarter and 42-24 at halftime. CSAS (4-3) only had one player score in double figures as Patrick Taylor finished with 11 points.
“I knew (CSAS) would be quick and athletic,” Northwest coach Ryan Richards said, “but I think we defended them really well. I think just getting off to a quick start was the difference in the game, because they never really recovered from it.”
O’Shea Hill had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, with Tanner Quarles adding 11 points and making three of Northwest’s four 3-pointers. The Bruins constantly changed from a fast-paced transition offense to a slower tempo.
“I think that’s been the strength of our team,” Richards said. “We’ve been flexible enough to win a couple different ways.”
• Murray County 66, Coahulla Creek 38: A quick Indians run right at the end of the first half changed this game from competitive to a rout.
With the Colts (0-8) trailing 27-21, less than two minutes to go in the second quarter and both Cordarius Tarver and Jordan Tant on the bench in foul trouble, the Indians (5-6) scored seven unanswered points to take a double-digit halftime lead.
Murray County led 52-29 after three quarters.
“We had some kids in foul trouble,” Coahulla Creek coach Matthew Queener said, “and we had to sub in right at the end of the first half. We had several turnovers there. After that we just couldn’t come back and match their intensity.”
Murray County only led 12-9 after the first quarter and let Coahulla Creek trim a 21-11 deficit to 24-19 midway through the second.
“I thought we came out tentative,” Indians coach Greg Linder said. “I didn’t think we rebounded well. They had 16 offensive rebounds, by our stats. Our saving grace was on the (offensive) end. I thought we executed really well.”
Brady Todd’s 16 points led the execution, with Matthew Corbin adding 13.
Tarver led the Colts with 13 points and Taylor Poteet added nine.
On the schedule today is Dalton versus Coahulla Creek at 4:30 p.m., Northwest versus Heritage-Catoosa at 6 and Murray County versus CSAS at 7:30.