Taylor, Bobcats Survive Late Fort Stockton Rally
SAN ANGELO, TX-- The San Angelo Central Bobcats held off a late rally by Fort Stockton to win 75-65 at Babe Didrickson Gym on Tuesday night.
“I thought in the first half we executed very well,” Central head coach Dustin Faught said. “I thought our effort was great. We were rotating where we were supposed to rotate. We were active getting tips, getting deflections.That’s what really lead to us getting out to a big lead in the first half.”
Faught would also say that he thought the 49 points put up in the first half by Central were the most the ‘Cats had put up in a single half this season.
Senior Duriell Taylor got the scoring started in the first quarter with a short jumper. That would spark an 11-6 run for the Runnin’ Cats.
The Panthers of Fort Stockton kept it close with back-to-back jumpers by Casey Nolen and Nick Johnson to make it a narrow 11-10 lead for Central.
Deveraux Minix pushed the Central lead back to four at 14-10 when he hit the first of three three-pointers on the night for the junior. Deveraux’s shot sparked an 8-2 run for Central to close out the first quarter with Central leading 19-12.
In the second quarter, Central outscored Fort Stockton 30-12 to take a commanding 49-24 lead into the break. To open up the quarter, Central got three more three-pointers, one each from Minix, Taylor, and James Hendon.
Out of the break, Fort Stockton started applying pressure as the Bobcats started to get away from their stellar defensive performance in the first half.
“Everything we did really well in the first half, we got away from in the second half,” coach Faught said. “I thought in the second half our rotations were a little bit slow, our decision making on offense was bad. We couldn’t transition because we couldn’t get a one-and-done rebound [defensively]. If we can play the way we played in the first half and put two halves like that together, we’ll be just fine.”
The Panthers outscored the Bobcats by a staggering margin of 41-26 in the second half. Fort Stockton had the Central lead narrowed down to as few as seven points in the fourth quarter. But the rally fell short for the Panthers and the Bobcats prevailed
Taylor was one of five Bobcats in double figures for scoring with 14 points. That total led the team for the night.
“We’re going to play a lot of guys,” Faught said about the contribution from those five. “With our speed and our tempo, in order to keep the pace we want to keep, we’re going to have to put fresh bodies on the floor. We talk to our guys a lot about “hey, when it’s your turn, you gotta amp up the energy.” I think us doing this by committee right now is really helping us. It’s allowing some guys to really step up and show what they can do. It’s allowing our veterans to kind of lead things either one by one or two by two when their on the floor and kind of direct traffic with those guys.”
Next up will be a road trip to the Copperas Cove Bulldawgs, this Friday, to open up District 8-6A play for Central.
“Our entire district is loaded,” Faught emphasised. “Copperas Cove is sitting at 15-1 right now. Every night in our district is going to be a flat out battle. We’re going to have to scratch and claw to give ourselves a chance. Copperas Cove has size and skill. They’ve got everything you expect a 6A program to have. We’re going to have to get our kids on the same page with the gameplan and go out and fight like we did in the first half tonight.”
The win improved the Bobcat’s record to 4-8 overall.