Friday, January 20, 2017

SPPORTS STORY >> Titans beat LRCA, fall in makeup at Hornets

Leader sports editor

Jacksonville played a dominant second half to pull off a 68-49 victory over Little Rock Christian on Tuesday, but the energy spent rallying from a halftime deficit in that game likely played a role in a 75-63 loss at Maumelle on Wednesday.

Titan head coach Vic Joyner missed Wednesday’s game while battling his second bout of pneumonia this season, but assistant coach Brandon Weems believes Tuesday’s game had an impact on Wednesday’s.

“We had to expend some energy on Tuesday,” said Weems. “We were down at half to Christian and had to work hard to come back. They played PA (Pulaski Academy) Tuesday, and they just sit back in that zone and you don’t have to do much.

“People might look at that score and think we got beat pretty good, but no. It was very close until about three minutes to go.”

One Jacksonville player was fresh on Wednesday. Senior guard DaJuan Ridgeway didn’t play the first half on Tuesday. But he suffered a shot to the face with four minutes left in the game that resulted in a cut under one eye. He missed the rest of the game, and that’s when Maumelle pulled away.

Wednesday’s game with the Hornets was tied 49-49 at the end of the third quarter, and Maumelle led by three when Ridgeway left the game. Maumelle’s Pat Greene got hot with three minutes left as Jacksonville went cold, resulting in the misleading final score.

Ridgeway’s presence in the second half on Tuesday was a big factor in that comeback. The Titans trailed 30-22 at halftime at LRCA. Ridgeway entered in the third quarter and scored 15 second-half points.

While Ridgeway’s offense provided a big boost, so did the defense of Antoine Davis, according to Weems.

“Everything they did ran through No. 3 (sophomore Razorback commitment Justice Hill), Weems said. “Antoine went in there and put the shackles on him in the second half. He played great defensively. Even the points everybody else got was because of No. 3, and (Davis) helped a lot with that. We also did a better job of closing out on their shooters, but we didn’t do that against Maumelle. We still have to work on being more consistent with that.”

Appleby led Jacksonville (12-9, 2-3) with 16 points against LRCA. Braylin Hawkins added 14 to go with Ridgeway’s 15.

Appleby had 21 at Maumelle while Ridgeway added 12.

The Lady Titans (10-12, 2-3) lost both of their games this week. They fell 54-33 at Little Rock Christian Academy, and 57-54 at Maumelle.

Jacksonville overcame a 35-24 halftime deficit at Maumelle to take a 43-42 lead going into the fourth quarter, but abysmal free-throw shooting cost the Lady Titans the game. The JHS girls went 11 for 29 from the foul line on Wednesday. Shy Christopher scored 20 points in the loss.