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With determination and high hopes the Clear Lake Falcons (17-5) entered the Kingwood Mustang gymnasium Friday night, Jan 9. Clear Lake had something to prove. They needed to once again show that they were ready to play among the best teams in the state. What they showed is that they are not quite ready yet. The 19-3 Kingwood Mustangs also had something to prove. They needed to get back on track after their defeat at the hands of the Clear Creek Wildcats last Tuesday. They are not back on track yet though they did manage to hold on in the final seconds to squeak by with a win. Neither team played as well as they are capable of playing. After watching Kingwood play six times this season prior to this game, I could speculate about how far away Kingwood was from their best game but the real point is the Falcons were a long way from their best effort. Most of the Falcons appeared tight and not at all relaxed early on due perhaps to the anxiety which comes from the knowledge that they were playing the #3 ranked team in the state (at least until next week). The Falcons came out confident, very focused, with good intensity, and outpaced the Mustangs 14 to 9 in the first quarter. Had they replicated the 5 of 9 shooting from the field in the second or third quarter, it would have been a much different game. Instead they shot 1 of 14 from the field in the second quarter. Four of their six points in the 2nd were from free throws. They scored ONE basket! With 1:12 remaining in the first half, Kingwood took the lead 19-18. At the half it was 22-20 in favor of Kingwood. One bright spot of the game was Lake's free throw shooting (10 of 12 for the game). Another bright spot was the turnover rate was lower also (only 10 turnovers in the game). Beyond that all you can say about the first three quarters is they played very hard, not well, just hard. I would like to attribute their weak performance as being caused by a superior Kingwood team but to me that is not the explanation. Among the reasons was frequent poor shot selection due to bad judgment maybe. If the Falcons have learned that their first offensive tendency should be to try to get the ball inside where scoring is more assured, it certainly isn't obvious at times. Yeah, so they were double and triple teaming our big man. It's okay, the big men know what to do. If scoring only ONE basket in the 2nd quarter wasn't enough, they backed it up with 2 of 11 shooting in the 3rd quarter where they scored a resounding FOUR points total. Four minutes into the 3rd, Lake had not scored. Finally, after 5 minutes and 10 seconds had elapsed in the 3rd quarter, Dennis Cerny put in a layup to make the score 27-22 in favor of Kingwood. Notice there were no points scored off free throws in the 3rd. That's because they shot no free throws. Having three referees is suppose to lean toward making the game somewhat better officiated. Having three very junior, inexperienced referees does nothing toward that goal. Using two older referees who appear physically to be more seasoned but are still very junior officials does nothing for the game except maybe cause the crowd to expect more from them. The person who is responsible for scheduling of the officals for a game where two of the top 20 teams in the state go at it deserves some of the blame as well. More experienced senior officials should have been used, Friday night or no Friday night. The officials alone were not the reason that Clear Lake lost. But when you consider how close the final outcome of the game was and you compare that to the number of really atrocious calls made and the number of times the officials had differing calls and the same official always deferred to the other, the outcome of the game could certainly have gone either way. That's too bad. To let poor officiating take away from what could have been a very good basketball game is inexcusable. By the way, the foul count in the second half was Kingwood 3, Lake 8 before it increased to 4 and 12. Lake probably did foul more than Kingwood but not that much more. At the end of the third quarter the score was 35-24. In the fourth quarter the Falcons put on their hard hats and went to work. With the foul count at 4 and 9, the Mustangs were shooting free throws on every foul. The Falcons were 11 of 18 from the field and 4 of 6 on free throws. Halfway into the final quarter, it was 40-34 with Lake drawing closer. At 3:30 remaining in the game, Gordon Abner hit a clutch jumper to bring the score to 44-37. At 2:13 it was 48-40. With less than 2 minutes remaining, a key basket by Dan Rieke made it 48-42. The game got very close in the last 93 seconds. At 48-43 Scott Oswald made it 48-45 with a driving layup. With 50 seconds remaining a steal by Nandi who passed to Scotty led to a foul and Scotty making two key free throws to bring the score to 50-49 with 45 seconds remaining. Not good for the blood pressure! The final 5 points scored by Kingwood were on free throws. The game was not decided until the last 12 seconds. Scoring for the Falcons: Atchley 14, Cerny 13, Rieke 8, Oswald 6, Abner 6, Wijay 3, Walker 2. The Falcons were outrebounded 39 to 21. No description of this game would be complete without mentioning the unsportsmanlike behavior of the Kingwood student fans who have developed a reputation in this region for being among the worst. Not only did they use profanity when they disapproved of a call, they directed vulgar, inexcusable language toward individual Clear Lake players late in the game as the contest drew closer and the intensity of the game rose. Always reluctant to do anything which might reduce the zeal of the student fans and never having been accused of being a prude, I would like to file it under "Boys will be boys" but the conduct I witnessed was insulting and disgraceful and I suggest the Kingwood administration needs a lesson or two in "corraling their kids". The administrators in attendance, presumably to maintain the proper decorum, were a joke. Shame on Kingwood for allowing such behavior at a school function. What we would like to regard as a very classy school is demeaned by such vulgarity.
|1986-87||Bobby Holkan and Troy Valentino|
|1994-95||Chad Baker and Jason Maronge|
|1995-96||John Braxton and Kenton Fisher|
|1996-97||Nathan Law and Brandon Lloyd|
|2008-09||Kyle Ashton, Nick Arrington|
|2009-10||Blake Gregorcyk, Brick Pomeroy|
Due to a bruised hip suffered in the Humble game, Ross Mahler sat out the Kingwood game. Here's hoping he has a speedy recovery and is back in the lineup soon.
Press Release 12/30/03– FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE LAW GUNS DOWN HOME STATE TEAM AS JAGS DEFEAT MAVERICKS SOUTH ALABAMA TO PLAY UAB IN BIRMINGHAM ON SATURDAY CONTACT: Matt Smith Box Score TAMPA, Fla. - Texas native Richard Law came off the bench to score a career-high 21 points to lead South Alabama to a 56-52 win over Texas-Arlington in the consolation game of the USF Holiday Classic Tuesday night. Law connected on 9-of-11 shots from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, to give USA a split in the South Florida tourney. The Jags (5-5) return to action Saturday night in Birmingham to face in-state foe UAB. "It's probably the best I felt all year," said Law, whose previous best point total was 18 set earlier this season against Alabama State. "I was going real hard at it. Everybody stepped up and we came out with a win. Coming off Monday's loss, we wanted to come out and win again." USA's bench came up big on Tuesday. Law, Seth Miller, Henry Williams and Carlos Smith combined for 37 of USA's 56 points. The Jaguar starting five only managed 21 points, 13 coming from top scorers Chris Young (6) and Malerick Bedden (7). "Tonight, a lot of guys stepped up and made big plays," said second-year Jag coach John Pelphrey. "That's why it's a team game. The guys off the bench really came up big. Richard Law was phenomenal. He came out with great energy. His effort was championship effort tonight." Miller was the first reserve to spark the Jags. The 6-foot-5 junior guard hit back-to-back threes following a Bedden layup to highlight an 8-1 Jaguar run. The spurt turned a four-point deficit into an 11-8 lead. USA stretched the lead to 14-8 at the 11:50 mark when Law, a second-year player from Houston, knocked down the first of five first-half shots. Derrick Obasohan, who led the Mavericks with 16 points, scored back-to-back baskets to pull UTA within 14-12 with 8:32 remaining in the opening half. Law scored six more points as the half winded down to send USA into the locker room with a 30-27 halftime lead. USA finished the first half with one of its better shooting performances of the season. After shooting 36 percent in Monday's 78-67 first-round loss to host South Florida, the Jags shot an amazing 57 percent (12-21) in the opening stanza. Steven Thomas, one of three UTA players in double digit scoring figures, scored three of his 14 points to start the second half. He took a feed from teammate Roy Johnson for a layup and converted the 3-point play after getting fouled to tie the game at 30-30. It was all South Alabama after that. Bedden hit a pair of free throws to snap the tie one minute into the second half and Tamsir Ba and Law hit back-to-back buckets to increase the lead to 36-30 with 16:51 to go. UTA pulled within 36-34 on a Stephen Floyd jumper at the 15:28 mark, but Law scored four of USA's next six points to increase the margin to 42-37. The Jags led by nine, 48-39, with 10:14 left and held a comfortable margin until UTA reeled off five straight points to trim the deficit to 51-48 with 2:15 remaining. Young, who finished the night just 2-of-10 from the field, hit his biggest shot with just under two minutes showing as he drained a three from atop the key. Williams followed with a dunk to give USA a 56-48 advantage with 1:09 to go. UTA hit a pair of baskets late to make the final score more respectable. NOTES: USA improved to 5-0 all-time against the Mavericks...Law was named to the all-tournament team following his 21-point effort vs. UTA...UNO and USF met in the tournament championship game. TEXAS-ARLINGTON (4-5) Obasohan 7-18 2-3 16, Thomas 5-10 4-5 14, Johnson 2-7 1-2 5, Floyd 6-14 0-0 15, Howell, K. 1-3 0-0 2, Howell, J. 0-1 0-0 0, Dawkins 0-0 0-0 0, Hairfield 0-2 0-0 0, Henderson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 21-57 7-10 52. SOUTH ALABAMA (5-5) Phillips 1-4 0-0 2, Bedden 2-2 2-2 7, Ba 2-5 0-0 4, Spencer 0-2 0-0 0, Young 2-10 0-0 6, Smith 1-3 0-0 2, Miller 3-6 0-0 8, Law 9-11 0-1 21, Williams 3-5 0-2 6. Totals: 23-48 2-5 56. Halftime - South Alabama 30, Texas-Arlington 27. 3-Point Goals - Texas-Arlington 3-13 (Floyd 3-9, Obasohan 0-2, Hairfield 0-1, Henderson 0-1), South Alabama 8-21 (Law 3-4, Young 2-8, Miller 2-5, Bedden 1-1, Phillips 0-1, Spencer 0-1). Fouled Out: Bedden. Rebounds - Texas-Arlington 36 (Obasohan 8), South Alabama 29 (Law 6). Assists - Texas-Arlington 13 (Johnson, Floyd 3), South Alabama 14 (Smith 6). Total Fouls - Texas-Arlington 9, South Alabama 15. A - N/A.
Clear Lake came out firing early with the hot hand of Dennis Cerny hitting on 5 of 7 from 3 point land in the first quarter. That put the Falcons up 25-13 at the end of the quarter. With 4:40 remaining in the second quarter Ross Mahler was hurt in an under-the-basket play and sat out the remainder of the game with ice on his hip. The Falcons played well at times in the game but kept letting the Wilcats back in. Humble outscored the Falcons 25 to 20 in the second quarter. Nandi Wijay hit a 3 at the buzzer to put the score at 47-38 at halftime. Only 1:53 into the third quarter the Wildcats pulled to within 2 at 47-45 in Lake's favor. At this point it began to look like Baytown Lee all over (except the officiating was only a bit stinky at Humble). Folks were beginning to wonder if the state ranked Falcons would let this one slip through their talons. Lake was able to maintain their lead however and closed out the third quarter with a 6 point advantage, 64-58 . In the fourth quarter the first three minutes and 40 seconds were no different. Shots not falling and turnovers continued to plague the Falcons and Humble was scoring too easily on a much better team. The final four minutes were different though when the Falcons decided they had had enough and cranked it up a notch and started to pull away with better shot accuracy . From this point there was no doubt about the outcome of the game. Scoring for the Falcons: Dennis Cerny had 20 (with 6 of 8 shooting from 3 point range); Connor Atchley had 20 points (4 blocked shots, 8 rebounds); Dennis and Connor each had 4 steals and shared another; Dan Rieke had 13 (with 5 of 6 shooting); Aaron Greenwood had 10(4 of 4); Nandi Wijay had 9; Scott Oswald had 7; Chris Mitchell had 5; Micah Walker and Ross Mahler each had 2. Micah, Dan, and Scott each had 4 assists. The Humble band was positioned directly behind the Lake bench and cranked up the music at every opportunity. This made communication difficult for the Lake players and coaches. Greg Kite, the Humble coach, should reconsider this tactic.