Hatch wins area

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 15, 2005

UNIONTOWN – The R. C. Hatch Bobcats waited until the third quarter to step up their defensive pressure, to outscore the Keith Bears 17 – 8, and to build a double digit lead to secure their 24th win of the season.

“Our kids played kind of sloppy tonight,” said Bobcat coach Eugene Mason with a grin, “but they got the job done.” The Hatch defense limited the Bears field goal opportunities in the third quarter also.

The stayed close through out the first half of play. The game was tied at eight in the first quarter with 2:21 remaining. Keith got themselves in foul trouble and put Hatch in the bonus at the 1:54 mark. “It’s almost unheard of to be in foul trouble that early,” stated Bear coach Joseph Pettway. The Bobcats scored eight straight to end the quarter, led by freshman Frankie Sullivan’s 11 points. The Bears leading scorer Charles Jones picked up his fourth foul by way of a technical in the quarter.

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Hatch scored first in the second quarter to go up by ten, but couldn’t take advantage of being in the double bonus by missing free throws. The Bobcats were 13 of 26 from the stripe in the first half. Keith battled back to close the gap to three with 2:59 left in the half. Hatch controlled the boards offensively and on the defensive in the last three minutes of the half to stay up 30 -23 by the end of the quarter. Senior Dominique Thomas knocked down 12 first half points for Keith.

With senior Darryl Wilson leading the way, the Bobcats pressured the ball all over the court in the third and began to pull away ending the third quarter up 47 – 31. Leading rebounded LaDarius Jones of Keith fouled with 1:38 left in the quarter. Sixteen points was too much for Keith to overcome with only eight minutes left in the game. Final score: 62 -41.

Sullivan, the tournament’s MVP, led all scorers with 28 points. Phillip Johnson added 12 points and 11 rebounds for Hatch, while Wilson chipped in 10 points. Thomas finished with 17 points for Keith.