By Blaine Kellar for Main Street Preps
Tuesday’s District 9-3A battle between Creek Wood and White House was closer than its score suggests.
The Red Hawks (14-6, 5-2 D9-3A) led by as many as 25 points and won 82-60, but Creek Wood fended off a come-from-behind effort from White House the whole night.
“You start knocking down threes, you can catch up in a hurry,” Red Hawks coach Charles Taylor said. “We knew that’s the style they played. … We were fortunate to get out to a lead, because it would’ve been really tight down the stretch (without it).”
Taylor’s team led 30-5 in the early stages of the second quarter before the Blue Devils (7-18, 2-5) went on a 20-9 run to close the first half.
White House was outscored 48-26 in the first and fourth quarters but won the second and third 34-27. They brought it within 12 points four separate times in the final two quarters, but a 25-point fourth from Creek Wood took away all momentum.
“We couldn’t have started any worse, and I think they started really well,” said Blue Devils coach Caleb Cook. “In the second half, we battled, we hit shots, we gave ourselves chances … we just can’t fall down by 25 against anybody.
“If we can’t guard, we can’t win. If we can’t stop teams, it doesn’t matter how many points we score. We just have to come out with the mentality that we have to sit down and guard.”
Tuesday marked the 10th game this season where White House has allowed over 70 points in a game. Creek Wood’s Braden Dawson and Carter Thomason combined for 35 points against the Blue Devils, and they were two of five players that finished in double figures.
“They executed well when they had to,” Cook said. “We started cold and ended cold. For a while in the fourth we were trading baskets, but you can’t do that when you’re down 15, 18 points.”
With a win on Friday against Montgomery Central, Creek Wood can clinch at least the second seed in the upcoming district tournament. White House will host the Indians next Thursday in the district’s play-in game.
“It’s taking care of your business, and whatever happens with everybody else happens,” Taylor said. “We hope to have a first-round game at home, but we just have to take care of our own business on Friday night and see where the chips fall.”
Creek Wood (82): Braden Dawson 18, Carter Thomason 17, Bryson Harding 14, Jace Herrell 14, Jamison Ford 10, Clint Morgan 7, Alex Bradshaw 2.
White House (60): Ryan Worrell 22, Jimmy Allen 11, Amarion Lucas 11, Zane Brown 7, Bryce Hill 5, Kenny Holt 2, Layden Rogers 2.
Photos by Phil Stauder