By Glavine Day for The Connection
WHITE HOUSE – For the first time in the 2017-18 season, both Springfield teams left the gym on the winning side. The Lady Jackets defeated the Lady Devils 51-30 and the Jackets won their first game of the season 71-62 behind a 37-point effort by Aaron Gardner.
“Being 0-6 and losing late in so many close games, it feels good to just get any win,” coach Micah Rochester said. “I think part of it, we couldn’t finish games. We were scared to win almost. We had a lot of inexperienced guys who made a lot of inexperienced mistakes in the end of games, so hopefully that won’t happen here on out.”
After welcoming back multiple football players from last Friday, the Jackets had their full squad back on the hardwood for a win over the Blue Devils and their first win under coach Micah Rochester.
White House started the game with a 10-2 run over the Yellow Jackets and ended the first quarter 23-10, but that didn’t last long. Springfield outscored White House 25-5 in the second quarter to cruise into halftime with a 37-28 lead after a buzzer-beater 3-pointer by Noah Waltz.
“We weren’t pressuring the ball and guys were able to shoot 3’s and get a lot of backdoor cuts,” Rochester said. “That’s easy to do if you aren’t up pressuring the basketball. They did so and weren’t able to get open looks and feed their post. After we started playing defense, they had a hard time running their offense I think.”
With around 20 seconds left in the third quarter, the Blue Devils brought the game within 4 points, but Springfield scored a quick 4 more to make it 54-46 at the end of the third and the fourth went smoothly to give the Jackets their first win.
“Aaron’s had a lot of big games for us and I think the guys finally realized ‘Hey, he’s scoring a lot of points for us, let’s see if we can’t get him the basketball’ instead of forcing some shots themselves,” Rochester said. “They’re really looking for Aaron, and he’s so efficient. He doesn’t need a lot of shots to be able to score. Obviously having some guys back like Dayron, Travion and Kam, I think he took three charges. He doesn’t do the things that go into the scorebook but it makes a huge difference to get these guys back. AG doesn’t feel like he has to get every rebound and guard every team’s best player.”
The girls game went all in favor of Springfield, taking the lead and keeping it the entire four quarters led by Springfield’s Shatoyah Bowens’ 20-point effort.
Springfield’s girls took a huge first half lead and went into halftime 28-15 behind Bowens’ 13 first-half points. The second half looked almost identical after Springfield outscored White House 23-15 for the easy win.
These two teams continue their five-game road trip on Tuesday at White House Heritage.
Girls box score:
WHITE HOUSE: McKenzie Caughn 11, Grace Maupin 6, Kelly Cain 5, Courtney Meadows 4, Ragan Anderson 2, Baylee Miller 2.
SPRINGFIELD: Shatoya Bowens 20, Z Reams 12, Zaiya Butrum 8, Elizabeth Funk 5, Olivia Tejada 4, KyAsia Gardner 1, Rondra Milas 1.
Boys box score:
WHITE HOUSE: Jacob McDonald 12, Kyle Elliott 10, Jared Ward 10, Durstin Adams 7, Logan Neufeld 7, Kevin James 6, Evan Webster 5, Cole Pond 5.
SPRINGFIELD: Aaron Gardner 37, Adarion Hudson 8, Travon Heath 6, Travion Woodard 5, Noah Waltz 5, Tywon Black 5, Dayron Johnson 3, Cole Van Fleet 2,
Both Springfield teams defeated White House on Saturday for their first sweep of the season.