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TCHS boys take down John Carroll

NORTHPORT | The Tuscaloosa County High School boys basketball team built a lead over John Carroll Catholic with a strong defensive stand in the first half before opening up the game offensively in the second half to win 57-44 in high school action Thursday night.

In the first quarter, the Wildcats applied defensive pressure to the Cavaliers that held John Carroll without a field goal for nearly five minutes. John Carroll scored only three points in that span, all from the free throw line.

"We put a lot of pressure on their guards," Tuscaloosa County coach Curt Weeks said. "We did a decent job of that."

Weeks saw some weaknesses, however, citing a run from the Cavaliers that took a seven-point first quarter deficit to a one-point deficit in less than three minutes.

"We’re still inconsistent with it," Weeks said. "We’ll have spurts where we’re pressuring the basketball well and good things are happening. Then we’ll have some dry spells when we get beat off the dribble."

The Cavaliers also assembled a 10-2 run late in the fourth quarter that reduced the final score to its 13-point margin.

Offensively, the Wildcats proded Que Hall to step up, a challenge he accepted and delivered on. Hall, after scoring only four first-half points, delivered 11 points in the third quarter to push the Wildcats to its 15-point lead heading into the final quarter.

"We challenged him at half to come out like that," Weeks said. "He asserted himself, demaded the basketball.

"We were proud of the way we came out of halftime and dominated, the way we did what we wanted to do."

Justin Guy had five first-quarter points and ended the first half with nine.

"Justin’s a big part of what we do," Weeks said. "The ball has to touch his hand consistently for us to do what we want to do."

Justice Green added 15 points for the Wildcats, including four points in TCHS’ game-opening 11-3 run.