Defense makes the difference for CCA

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 5, 2005

Times-Journal Correspondent

According to Central Christian Academy coach Carl Rawls, defense and conditioning made the difference for the Warriors in their 59-39 semifinal victory over Shelby Academy, Friday night at CCA.

Both teams seemed evenly matched throughout the first half. Only two points separated the two squads after the first quarter, with the Warriors holding a slight 14-12 lead.

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CCA forward Tee Woods opened the second period with the first of his three steals and an easy lay-up set the tone for the rest of the game.

Central Christian scored nine unanswered points to claim a 23-14 lead before hitting a dry spell in the last two minutes of the half that allowed Shelby County to pull even.

A long three-pointer gave Central Christian a 26-23 after the first half.

Central Christian came out pumped for the second half as Simuel Walker picked off Shelby’s opening inbound pass. Bud Smith accounted for seven of the Warriors’ 19 steals.

Woods, who finished with 15 points, negated Shelby’s towering center by taking 10 rebounds from the big man. Felix Baker accounted for seven rebounds and Andre Pearson brought down six.

After the first play of the second half, Shelby took no chances on its inbound passes. However, the visitors did not count on Bradley Savage, who snatched the ball from the Raiders for a quick two that began a run for the Warriors. A three-pointer by Bud Smith gave the Warriors an 11-point lead, 39-28.

In the game’s final minutes, Bud Smith – who finished with a game-high 20 points – took Shelby to school. After stealing a pass, Smith beat two defenders down the court for an easy lay-up. On the next play, Smith did it again to make it a 53-37 game.

A flubbed Shelby pass was gathered up by Walker, whose jumper began a three-point play that made it 58-39.