Midgame struggles hurt Eagles in loss

Published 8:40 am Friday, December 9, 2016

Ben’s Ford got off to a strong start, but struggled toward the end of the first half and during the first half of the third quarter, in a 55-36 loss to Lamar Christian School at home Tuesday.

The Eagles scored the game’s first eight points. Kameron Underwood passed to C.J. McClelland for two to open the scoring. McClelland, who had 13 points to lead Ben’s Ford in scoring, along with seven rebounds, an assist and three steals, split from the free-throw line with six minutes left and tallied two more to make it 5-0 just 20 seconds later.

Cameron Byrd, who had five points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals, nailed a 3-pointer for the 8-0 advantage.

Ben’s Ford took a 14-8 lead to the second quarter and added to it 51 seconds in when Byrd connected with Tyler Winstead for two. Lamar Christian’s Joshua Hobson, who posted 12 points, hit a 3-pointer and Lamar Christian added two more, trimming it to 16-13.

Byrd then hit two free throws, pushing the lead back to five with 5:45 left, but Lamar Christian closed the half on a 12-0 run and took a 25-18 lead to the half.

“The problem is we just don’t know how to react to pressure sometimes,” Ben’s Ford coach Landon Tims said. “We jumped out on them early and they clawed their way back in it and we have a few defensive mishaps along each quarter. We let one of their guys get hot there in the third quarter.

“I think he hit probably four 3-pointers, so that hurts us and we just weren’t offensively able to make up for the points we gave up there. But it’ll work out in the end. We’re a good basketball team. We’re getting better and I’m looking forward to the rest of this season.”

Lamar Christian expanded the lead over the first part of the third period. Neal Poole hit four 3-pointers over the first 4:17 of the quarter on his way to 14 points. It was 39-24 with 3:43 remaining in the third period.

The lead remained at 15 points through three quarters, at 45-30.

Lamar Christian extended the lead to 50-30 in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles scored four in a row on a fast-break layup by McClelland and a driving layup from Jeremiah Slocum to trim it to 50-34 with 4:21 left.

Needham pushed it back to an 18-point lead with a field goal.

Underwood finished with 10 points, three rebounds and an assist.

Winstead tallied six points and an assist. Slocum posted two points, three boards and two assists.

Gage Tervalon had a rebound, an assist and two steals while Seth Schilling had a steal and Tucker Keating and Ryan Jones pulled down a rebound each.

Lamar Christian’s Donovan Smith scored eight points while Myles Needham added two.