Turnovers and cold shooting plague Wildcats in loss to Taylor County

Published 2:51 pm Saturday, January 7, 2023

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ELLAVILLE – After their disappointing 59-24 loss at Macon County on Tuesday, January 3, the Schley County Wildcats (SCHS) came into their Region 6A D2 matchup at home against the Vikings of Taylor County (TC) hoping to flush the bad taste of that defeat from their mouths and to end their three-game losing streak. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the two main things that have plagued them this season, cold shooting from the field and turnovers, reared their ugly heads again and it led to a 47-35 loss to the Vikings on Friday, January 6 at Schley County High School.

The loss drops the Wildcats to 1-4 overall on the season and they are now 1-3 in Region 6A D2 play.

Jordan Hudson led the Wildcats in scoring with 16 points and JaLewis Solomon scored eight points in the losing cause. Jack Clark scored five points and both Clinton Jackson and Tyrese Cook each scored three points to round out the SCHS scoring.

The Vikings quickly jumped out to a 6-0 lead to start the game, but thanks to a three-pointer from Solomon and a rebound and put back by Hudson, the Wildcats were back in it, trailing 6-5. Over the next several minutes, both teams traded baskets and at the end of the first quarter, the score was tied at 10-10.

Early in the second quarter, the Wildcats came alive when Clark threw and ally-oop pass to Jackson, who finished with a two-handed slam, electrifying the crowd.

However, over the next four minutes, the Vikings outscored the Wildcats and took a 20-14 lead with 3:58 to go before halftime, prompting SCHS Head Coach Ernest Scott to call a timeout to settle his team down.

Clinton Jackson is shown here at the free throw line. He scored a total of three points for the Wildcats in their loss to Taylor County.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Throughout the first half, turnovers were a problem for the Wildcats, as they tried to negotiate the full court press of the Vikings. They continued to be a problem in the closing minutes of the half and it resulted in a 5-0 run for the Vikings and missed opportunities on the offensive end for the Wildcats. While the defensive intensity was solid for both teams in the first half, SCHS was not able to cash in on its opportunities on offense and the Wildcats went into halftime trailing TC 25-14.

Hudson led the Wildcats in first half scoring with six points, while Brayden Ellison led TC in scoring with 12 first half points.

Over the first three minutes of the third quarter, both teams traded baskets, but Tyrese Cook made one of two free throws to bring the Wildcats to within nine at 30-21. However, with a little less than three minutes to go in the third quarter, TC took a 33-24 lead when Kartez Duncan drove through the middle of the SCHS defense and jammed home two points. The Wildcats continued to struggle from the field on offense and TC took advantage by increasing its lead to 37-24 at one point. Then as the seconds were counting down to end the third quarter, Duncan stole the ball, drove the length of the court and finished with a one-handed dunk.

By the end of the third quarter, the Wildcats had much work to do on both ends of the court, as they trailed TC 40-28.

Over the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, the Wildcats began to come alive by going on a 5-0 run that was capped off with a three-pointer from Clark. But just as SCHS was waking up, the Vikings got a turnover and a basket from A.J. Wilder. Wilder was fouled on the play and converted the foul shot, giving TC a 43-33 lead. Cook tried to keep the Wildcats in it with a basket, but Duncan once again responded for the Vikings at the other end with another Dunk to push the TC lead back up to at 45-35. From that point on, the Wildcats could not find a way to make a last minute run for a come-from-behind victory and went on to lose to TC by the score of 47-35.

Duncan led the Vikings (2-10, 1-2) with 17 points and Brayden Ellison poured in 16. A.J. Wilder was also in double figures for TC with 11 points in the winning cause.