Cougars tame Wildcats, 74-50
It was a whole team effort.
Twelve High Point Christian Academy Cougars made a sketch in the scoring column Tuesday night as the team cruised to a 74-50 victory over Westchester Country Day School.
Jackson Kent scored 20 points, including a pair of one-handed dunks, to lead the way for HPCA. Mike Kobani chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds, followed by Diante Baldwin with 10.
“We got most of our offense in transition, and that was created by our defense. We were able to pick up a lot of easy buckets and made open shots – it was a sloppy game, but we’ll take it.” Head coach Brandon Clifford said.
Despite being whistled for 13 first-half fouls, and more than 25 for the game, the Cougars forced the Wildcats to commit 14 turnovers, and countered with 21-of-42 shooting from the field, and 7-of-16 from 3-point land.
“The officials were quick to blow the whistle at times, but it is what it is. We have the ability to 11-12 deep on our bench, so it didn’t bother us too much,” Clifford said. “This was a physical, sloppy game at times. We could have shot 60 or 70 percent from the field if we had finished and not missed easy shots.”
HPCA (6-1) got off to a slow start and took the Cougars midway through the first quarter to get into its normal rhythm. Westchester (3-6) tried to slow down the fast-past Cougar offense with lengthy offensive sets, but HPCA’s defense prevailed.
Using a 13-0 run to end the first quarter, HPCA had a double-digit lead before halftime.
In the third quarter, the Cougar defense stepped up the pressure with a full-court press and was able to hold Westchester to just six points. The Wildcats finished 10-of-26 from the field and 6-of-13 from 3-point.
“Our defense helped a lot tonight and led us to a lot of opportunities and open shots.” Kent said. “I thought we really moved the ball well tonight, and we were able to get up and down the floor well.”
Westchester’s Sadeeq Bellow was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points, including five 3-pointers, followed by Josh Burton with 11. The Wildcats struggled with stopping the outside shooting of Kent and Baldwin, and taking care of the ball in its motion offense.
“We’ve got six guys right now that are averaging right around double figures. We have been pretty good at taking advantage of matchups, that’s just the way (our offense) is. Jackson was the guy tonight – he had some really good looks.” Clifford said.
HPCA travels to Raleigh Friday night to take on North Raleigh Christian Academy to fine tune its game before heading to Coral Springs, Florida for the Kreul Classic December 20-22.