Five Takeaways: Siegel at Blackman

High School
Tennessee

Posted On: 12/8/17 11:12 PM

Friday night the visiting Siegel Stars frigidly accumulated 25 points…in the entire game.  Blackman basketball was stifling early and both Trenton Gibson and Brandon Thomas imposed their will early.  Blackman won 65-25.

In fact, Blackman hopped out to a 10-0 lead and Siegel didn’t score their second field goal until 7+ minutes had elapsed.

Blackman took a commanding 36-10 score into half.  No locker room feels as cozy in the middle of winter as one warmed by a 26-point lead.

The first half might have rattled the Siegel Stars, but their post-break ferocity was hardly evident.  Blackman even won the third quarter, 15-9.

Scoring Drought

It took Siegel 7:27 to get their second field goal.  To be clear, Siegel didn’t score their fourth point with 7:27 left in the first quarter; they scored their fourth point with 0:33 left in the opening quarter.

Why?

Credit Blackman’s patient defense.  Most of the first quarter the Blackman Blaze moved their feet and defended with pride.  Even though Trenton Gibson individually checked James Franklin, afterwards he credited his teammates with the help defense.

“Trenton did a nice job on him,” said Blackman Head Coach Barry Wortman.  “We are going to see that group again and see them in a different situation next time.  We know that.”

Trenton Gibson hit first three outside shots.

Siegel kept calling timeouts to block the river, but a colony of beavers couldn’t dam up that deluge.

Midway through the second quarter the emotional defeat of Siegel became apparent.  When Charles Bennett ripped the basketball free on Siegel’s offensive end he looked ahead and hurriedly attacked a Siegel defender.  The breakaway wasn’t special, but the three Star defenders loafing to catch up conveyed the deflated attitude the early 20-point deficit created.

Everybody on Blackman was amped.  Nathan Nelson slid his feet.  Gibson and Thomas rebounded very well defensively.

“I was really pleased with our focus,” said Coach Wortman.

Senior Leadership

From the opening tip both Trenton Gibson and Brandon Thomas attacked.  They clearly intended to bury Siegel.  The team fed Thomas early and the success was plain as Thomas scored constantly in the first quarter.  Also, he finished off his free throws.  Making the defense pay for fouling is imperative for a high-touch forward.

Gibson and Thomas really were the anchors of the team.  Gibson, in particular, set the tone and made sure the game never slipped back into contention.

“He is a positionless player that we ask a lot of and he was the toughest, most hard-nosed player on the floor tonight,” said Blackman Head Coach Barry Wortman.

“We had great leadership,” said Blackman Head Coach Wortman.  “We wanted it to go through Brandon on the post.  We ran some quick hitters and got to him with some good motion too.”

Big Boy on Blocks

Brandon Thomas is a wonderful high school pivot.  He has soft hands and uses his strength and size to get low position.  Blackman wisely fed him over and over Friday night.

Using his free throw touch Brandon Thomas made Siegel pay for fouling him.  The 6-foot-4 big dominates the area and Trenton Gibson provides him with a nice backcourt floor-stretcher.

A consummate teammate Gibson and the Blackman guards found Brandon early.

“We tried to go to him in our quick hit stuff,” said Coach Wortman.  “We tried to go to him in our motion.  He demanded the ball.  I thought he did some really good things with it.  Players did a good job getting it to him.”

Brandon Thomas finished with 17 points, 12 of them in the first half.

Blackman Depth

Earlier in the season our one criticism of Blackman was the absence of a third scorer.  It seemed like Jordan Burchfield and Nathan Nelson would have to grow into that role as the season wore on.

Friday night Jordan scored 13 points.  He was deeply invested.  The thin junior was intense and hit his shots when they found him.  He doesn’t demand the ball, but will hit anything open.  Unfortunately,  Nathan Nelson didn’t find his shooting windows.  He hit a single field goal and finished with five points.

Youth

Both Blackman High and Siegel High have some nice underclassmen.  While neither really deeply impacted this game, the massive scoring gap allowed them to get on the court.

“We are trying to grow them,” said Blackman Head Coach Wortman.  “We are really trying to grow our young guys.  They are all sophomores, coming out of our freshman program.  Zoryn Harrington, Jalen Page, and Jalen Staten…you can see they are all just making progress every day in practice.”

For Siegel, freshman Zion Swader scored 5 points to lead his team.

 

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