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Ugly or otherwise, Jeff happy to win in J&C 7th-place game
December 5, 2012Lafayette Jefferson High School
Needing a win of any kind — “ugly or pretty,” as coach Scott Radeker put it — Lafayette Jeff reached into its defensive bag of tricks to hold off Benton Central 50-46 Saturday afternoon at Crawley Center.
The Bronchos (2-2) earned seventh place in the J&C Hoops Classic by forcing 22 turnovers, 15 of them steals. Freshman Darian Collins had seven steals and five rebounds to go with nine points.
“Exactly why’s he starting,” Radeker said. “He has great instincts. He’s all over the court. He ran some balls down from the opposite end of the floor when they were threatening to shoot a layup. He’s a very good athlete, quick jumper, quick hands.”
Collins had seven of his points in the first quarter, which saw Benton Central (2-3) jump out to a 6-0 lead on two layups by Tyler Souligne and another by Brandon Rooze.
Radeker switched the Bronchos from man-to-man to a 2-3 zone defense. Jeff defenders used their quickness to jump passing lanes and force six turnovers in the next 5 1/2 minutes during an 18-3 run.
Collins, who led Lafayette Jeff in rebounding with nine in his varsity debut against Pioneer, says he is pleased to be able to contribute, let alone start.
“Yes, because varsity is not freshman or JV,” Collins said. “It’s way different from last year, bigger people, stronger. Last year it wasn’t that hard. This year, I have to try extra hard to be an extra person, to be average.”
Three-pointers by Tyler Buchanan and Quarin Hood got the offense going, but it was Jeff’s defense that held the Bison to just three shots the rest of the first quarter. The zone also didn’t affect the Bronchos’ rebounding. They held a 13-5 advantage at halftime and 36-21 for the game.
“Our post defense wasn’t very good early, and switching to the zone really helped us,” Radeker said. “Our kids really moved well, a lot of touches, a lot of deflections, got us going early in the game. I thought offensively we were pretty good, too. We were going inside like we wanted to and throwing it outside. Then we started getting complacent with the ball.”
Despite getting just six shots in the second quarter, Benton Central fought back to trail 25-20 at halftime behind six points from Souligne. The Bison moved within 35-33 after three quarters despite, again, getting just six shots from the field. Rooze had six points.
But the Bronchos had one final surge in them, an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter, and the Bison only got within two points twice afterward.
Buchanan led all scorers with 17 points and completed his double-double with 11 rebounds. Hood added 10 points.
Rooze and Souligne had 12 points apiece to lead Benton Central, which also got 11 from Jacob Turner.
“I’m proud of the way our kids battled,” Radeker said. “At this point, we just needed a win.”
LAFAYETTE JEFF 50, BENTON CENTRAL 46
3-Point goals—Benton Central 6-12 (Marquie 3-4, Turner 3-6, Souligne 0-1, Rooze 0-1), Lafayette Jeff 3-16 (Buchanan 1-2, Collins 1-2, Hood 1-4, Ripke 0-7, Haney 0-1). Team rebounds—Benton Central 5, Lafayette Jeff 7. Assists—Benton Central 5 (Rooze 4), Lafayette Jeff 5 (Hood 2). Turnovers—Benton Central 22, Lafayette Jeff 17.