By TONY STINNETT/ Courier Sports Editor
For a team that had been playing solid basketball and started the season with five straight wins, Cannon County did not play with much confidence in a 63-49 setback against Cascade at Robert A. Harris Gymnasium Tuesday (Nov. 27).
The Lions fell behind 14-6 after the first quarter and never recovered in the surprising setback.
“I believe we have not learned how to play from behind,” Cannon County Head Coach Matt Rigsby said. “We see the scoreboard when we’re down and lose our composure. Then we start straying from our jobs on the floor. We start gambling on passes, leaving our feet trying to block shots, trapping when we are not supposed to, things like that.”
Inconsistency plagued the Lions against Cascade. Various combinations did not seem to play well together and the offense was not efficient as in previous games. The inconsistency bothered Rigsby because he has been getting positive results from a deep squad in the early season.
“We have to become more consistent,” Rigsby said. “Any five guys I’ve had on the floor the first five games go us positive results but we have been inconsistent of late.”
Cannon County was led by Jarrett Melton’s 11 points. Tommy Mitchell finished with 10. Garrett McReynolds, Josh Ruehlen and Justin Tobin scored five each.
Alex Hatchett led Cascade with 19 points.
The Lions seemed to get their offensive woes worked out during the second quarter when they scored 16 points and trailed 33-22 at the half.
That’s when inconsistency reared its head.
The Lions managed just four points in the third quarter as they fell behind 43-26 going into the fourth.
“You are going to miss shots and that’s part of it but our defensive effort was lacking,” Rigsby said. “When you are struggling to score you better be able to count on solid defense and rebounding. We were not very good in any area against Cascade.”
Cannon County, which saw the deficit swell to more than 20 points in the fourth quarter, used a 14-7 run to pull to within 52-42 on Ruehlen’s two free throws with 3:37 remaining.