Lions "execute" Macon County
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:15 pm
By JUSTIN BEASLEY, Courier Sports Writer
LAFAYETTE - During Monday's practice and Tuesday's pregame warm-ups, head coach Matt Rigsby preached to his team about the importance of winning district road games.
And judging by the Lions' 59-48 win at Macon County Tuesday night, consider the message well-received.
With a 29-21 lead at the half, Josh Ruehlen was a one-man wrecking crew coming out of the locker room.
"Josh gave us a spark early," said Rigsby. "When we get going offensively, not only are we a good defensive team, we get better defensively. We are hopping around and doing things."
Shooting 53 percent from the floor (7-of-13), Garrett McReynolds led the Lions (7-2, 2-0) with 19 points. Ruehlen and Jacob Nave added 16 and 12 respectively.
After two lead changes in less than two minutes, Cannon County outscored Macon County 9-1 in the final three minutes before the half. Briar Jakes capped off the run with a steal and 3-pointer in the same sequence to give the Lions a big momentum boost.
"We can't win without Briar Jakes, it is that simple," Rigsby said. "Shooters are kind of polarizing, everybody looks at them as shooters, but what he does defensively for us is just as important."
The Lions shot 47 percent (20-of-42) from the field.
"They adhered to the game plan and far exceeded what we wanted to do," Rigsby said.
Cannon County 16 13 17 13 59
Cannon County: Josh Ruehlen 16, Austin Martin 7, Jacob Nave 12, Marshall McReynolds 2, Garret McReynolds 19, Briar Jakes 3.
Lions win 5th straight
Overall, Cannon County (8-2, 3-0) shot 57 percent as a team from the court. The Lions have won five straight dating back to Nov. 29.
Despite being tied at 13 entering the second period, Ruehlen scored 12 of Cannon County's 25 points giving the Lions a 38-30 lead going into the half.
Ruehlen's was a perfect 8-of-8 from the charity stripe in the second quarter to go along with two field goals.
In the third quarter, the Lions extended their lead to 61-47, in large part to a combined 16 points from Ruehlen and Nave.
The 24-point win ties the Lions' largest margin of victory this year with their 69-45 win over Warren County on Nov. 24.
Up Next: The Lions travel to York Institute for another district 8-AA game on Tuesday.
Smith County 13 17 17 13 60
Smith County: Seth Hackett 15, Jaylon Shepperson 4, Tanner Hackett 10, T.J. Smith 4, Tyler Letterman 2, Jase Holder 2, Cameron Huff 9, Sherman King 6, Johnny Hayden 8.