Sherwood’s Larrece Kelley shoots a jumper over Southland’s Ford Roach during Friday night’s game. (Staff Photo: John Millikan)
ALBANY — Sherwood boys basketball coach Bryan Gelfand had an uneasy feeling when his Eagles took the floor after a two-week hiatus.
He said his team’s practices leading up to Friday night’s game with Southland hadn’t been well and it concerned him.
The Eagles dug themselves in a second quarter deficit and fell to the Raiders, 64-46, in a non-region affair for both schools.
“I told our guys that if we practiced flat, then we were were going to play flat,” Gelfand said. “You play like you practice.”
Part of that may could have been attributed to Sherwood’s 13-day layoff as the Eagles hadn’t played since recording a big win over First Presbyterian Christian, last season’s defending Class AA state runner-up, in the finals of the Sherwood Christian Tournament on Dec. 21.
However, the same could have been said for Southland, which also had a 13-day layoff.
The trouble for Sherwood on Friday seemed to be in the second quarter when the Eagles moved away from their 2-3 zone.
“We weren’t recognizing their shooters in the zone,” Gelfand said.
Chris Thomas drilled a 3-pointer to give the Eagles a 19-17 advantage to start the second quarter. However, the Raiders (9-2) responded with a 15-1 run over the next 5:35 to build a 12-point advantage on a pair of free throws from Geoffrey McDonald.
After the Raiders built a 13-point lead at 36-23 with 7:31 left in the third quarter, it seemed the Eagles (9-3) would pull themselves back into the game. Thomas, who finished with a game-high 19 for Sherwood, drilled a 3-pointer at the top of the arc to trim the deficit to 10 points.
But Southland answered, pounding the ball inside and taking control.
“At the beginning of the second quarter when they went away from that 2-3 zone, we did a better job of getting the ball inside,” Southland coach Rundy Foster said. “If we got the ball inside, then we could get it back outside. In the first quarter, I thought we relied on the 3-point shot a little too much.”
Larrece Kelley finished with nine for the Eagles, while TJ Johnson added seven points.
The Raiders were led by Keyon Stone’s 17 points. Michael Volley finished with 14, while McDonald chipped in 12.
SOUTHLAND GIRLS 53, SHERWOOD CHRISTIAN 37: After a fierce second quarter comeback in which the Sherwood Lady Eagles grabbed a six-point halftime lead, Sherwood went cold during the second half and fell to 9-3 on the season.
The Lady Eagles sank just two of their 24 attempts in the second half and Southland pulled away in the fourth quarter. Sherwood hit just one of its 13 shots from the floor in the third quarter and scored just eight second-half points. Sherwood also could not stop Madison McPherson, who scored 13 of her game-high 29 points in the final period.
The Lady Raiders built leads as high as eight points in the second quarter at 19-11 on a lay-in from McPherson at the 6:03 mark. But Madison Walker helped key an 11-0 run over the next 3:39 as Sherwood grabbed a 22-19 advantage.
The Lady Eagles then ended the quarter on a 7-4 run, using a trio of free throws from Key’yada Thomas with less than a second left to take a 29-23 halftime lead as Sherwood seemed to be in command.
But Southland opened the third on a 9-0 run before Walker scored the Lady Eagles’ first bucket at the 2:04 mark.
Walker led Sherwood with 19 points, while Thomas finished with seven.
Ella Hawkins and Hannah McCain finished with eight points apiece to lead the Lady Raiders.