When asked if there was anything about his team’s play he didn’t like, Scotlandville High School coach Carlos Sample smiled and said, “Defense … if we can get to the point where we defend a little better we may really have something.”
One thing was abundantly clear after Scotlandville’s 91-62 victory over Jehovah-Jireh Tuesday night — the Hornets’ offense is more than OK.
TaiReon Joseph led a trio of double figures scorers for defending Division I champion Scotlandville (5-0) with a career-high 32 points, including four 3-pointers. The Hornets outscored defending Division IV champion JCA (11-1) 20-10 in the first quarter and then added 26 points in each of the next two quarters.
“It all starts with our point guard Reece Beekman,” Joseph said. “Everything goes through him, and when he gets things going, it just flows from there.”
Beekman added 28 points, eight assists and eight rebounds for the Hornets, whose lead swelled from 10 points after one quarter to 18 at halftime and 28 through three quarters, thanks in part to 12 3-pointers.
“Scotlandville outplayed us in every phase of the game,” JCA coach Dirk Ricks said. “I guess the thing I’m most disappointed in was our defense. They shot well, but we gave up too many shots that were uncontested. We will learn from this.”
Timothy Jackson led the Warriors with 25 points and 8 rebounds. Jaron Davis pitched in 21 points.
Morantz James provided a sign of things to come by hitting a 3-pointer just over two minutes into the game played at Scotlandville. Beekman added a 3-pointer and layup to help the Hornets build an 11-4 lead that prompted Ricks to call a time out.
The Warriors were never able to get much closer, though a jumper from the right side by Davis with 10.8 seconds left made it a 20-10 game going into the second quarter.
Two 3-pointers — one each by James and Joseph — quickly extended the Scotlandville lead to 16 points. The Hornets continued to grow their lead. A layup by Beekman with 11.8 seconds left in the half made it a 20-point game. JCA’s Jaxon Cobb converted a layup just before the buzzer.
A two-minute scoring drought early in the third quarter was costly for the Warriors. Beekman scored and was fouled with 5:42 to go. He sank the free throw to make it 58-30.
“We’ve developing some chemistry out there and we shot the ball well,” Sample said. “There are still plenty of games and a tough schedule to play.”