State’s top team stings Goodrich

Kristian James (5) of Goodrich charges after the ball during action against Big Sandy. James scored a game high 32 in a 63-53 loss to the Ladykats. (Linda Jacobs Photo)Kristian James (5) of Goodrich charges after the ball during action against Big Sandy. James scored a game high 32 in a 63-53 loss to the Ladykats. (Linda Jacobs Photo)

The Big Sandy Wildcats invaded Goodrich's Hornet Gym, winning a Polk County battle 88-17 on Tuesday.

Big Sandy immediately displayed the speed that they are known for, jumping out to a 7-0 lead before Goodrich coach Lester King could get a time out.

The Hornets were then able to break the press on occasion, working the ball to the rim for close baskets.

A 21-9 first quarter score was proof Goodrich had shown improvement, but still had trouble passing out of the pressure of Big Sandy's help man defense.

Good ball rotation helped the Wildcats find the open man to quickly extend the team's lead.

Though pushing the lead to 45-13, Big Sandy had still not played its best basketball.

"I honestly didn't feel that we were intense, but we are coming off a big win (versus Hardin-Jefferson) on Friday," Big Sandy coach Kevin Foster said. "Goodrich is all freshmen and sophomores, so they are young. It was a good game to get some guys a lot of minutes, because are carrying 11 this year. It is good experience to get them out to play. We are playing 13 games in the next two weeks when we come back, so we have a lot of basketball coming up and we will find out a lot about who we are. You always have things you can get better at."

Two areas the coach said he feels like his team could possibly be better this year more than last season's state runners-up are defense and half-court execution against teams that play a good man-to-man defense.

The Wildcats' best would come to begin the third quarter, where the pressure was relentless and buckets were made with flair. Eight points in 1:30 provided a 40-point buffer for the state's top-ranked team.

Going into the fourth, a 64-17 score meant benches emptied for younger players to gain experience. Fatigue had set in for the Goodrich youngsters that were held scoreless in the final period.

"Big Sandy is good and it's the best team we're going to play all year long," Goodrich coach Lester King said. The (Goodrich) kids are young and they're not aggressive and they're playing against seniors. I did expect the kids to play little harder. When you're standing around and you only have two or three fouls in a half, you aren't being aggressive."

A team that emptied the bench would also spread the wealth in points. Angel Bullock led all scores with 14, Logan Stapert and Benson Williams scored 12, and Zach Dickens rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11. Davante Hughes led the Hornets with six points, while Javarius Nickelberry contributed five.