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Richardson's double-double leads Jeff past Western
February 24, 2012Lafayette Jefferson High School
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Lafayette Jeff may be on the verge of accomplishing this task.
The Bronchos pulled away from Class 3A No. 8 Western in the fourth quarter for a 64-51 win on Saturday afternoon.
"I think we're playing together and the chemistry is getting better and better each week," Lafayette Jeff coach Scott Radeker said. "We had our best week of practice this past week.
"I'm just happy with the progress we've made. We want to be playing our best basketball at sectional time, and I think we're on the way to that."
Jeff (13-6) has won eight of its last nine games, which was preceded by four consecutive losses by a combined eight points.
"We would have liked to win those games but I think it paid off because losing those games in the late situations has taught us how to win close games," said Jeff senior Rashad Richardson, who had a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds. "Learning how to win close games right now is really big for us. It basically came down to learning early in the season and executing late in the season."
Western (16-4) came out strong and took a 14-6 lead, scoring on seven of its first eight possessions.
Jeff countered with a 17-4 run over the first and second quarters to take a 23-18 lead, which the Bronchos would only relinquish for roughly 20 seconds the remainder of the game.
Evan Warden's layup off a turnover gave the Panthers a 36-34 lead with 1:38 to play in the third quarter. The Bronchos, though, finished the quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 41-36 lead.
Jeff then put away Western in the fourth quarter.
The Bronchos led 41-40 before going on an 8-0 run in the span of 35 seconds.
Jeff senior Jarlon Garrett scored on a putback and then the Bronchos stole the ball when Warden fell down, eventually converting it into a Garrett putback.
Richardson stole the inbound pass and scored after Western's Ben Constable appeared to allow the ball to cross the plane of the baseline.
Western then had a shot blocked in transition, which turned into a quick Richardson layup on the other end.
"We wanted to get a lot of pressure on their guards and finally the pressure started to pay off," Radeker said. "We were able to force them into some travels and errant passes. Our guys really rotated well defensively. Once you get one turnover, it kind of gets contagious and everybody gets their bounce back."
Western coach Andy Weaver called a timeout, but the 35-second outburst led to Jeff taking a 49-40 lead. The Panthers never got closer than seven points the remainder of the game.
"When that run happened it happened very quickly," Weaver said. "Their athleticism got to us a little bit and we go out of formation, but your fundamentals get really tested -- catching the basketball with two hands, being strong, going after loose basketballs -- when the other guys have maybe a little bit more speed and a little bit more athleticism."
Jeff held a commanding edge in rebounding, 47-28, with 21 on the offensive end. Richardson had 12 rebounds, while Garrett added nine.
"We really stress it -- offensive and defensive rebounding," Richardson said. "We want to be active on the boards and win the battle of the boards every night. ... Ultimately it comes down to effort and whether we want it bad enough, along with focus."
Despite a strong start, Western shot 22 of 57 from the field and just 1 of 11 from beyond the arc. It was the second consecutive poor shooting night for the Panthers.
"We wanted to keep them out of the lane and the passing lanes," Richardson said. "It comes down to effort and concentrating on what we need to do. Defensively we just tried to speed them up and take them out of their sets."
Garrett finished with 19 points, while Derrick Rogers added 11 points and nine rebounds. Peter Ripke scored nine points on three key 3-pointers in the first half. Richardson also had five assists and four steals to go with his double-double.
John Capps led Western with 15 points, while Austin Townsend added 10 off the bench.