Posted On: 02/16/18 7:14 PM

Stratford overcame a small 40-37 halftime deficit to run away from Whites Creek Friday night, 103-74.  The Spartans play for the District 10 AA Championship Tuesday evening in East Nashville.

Five themes jumped to the fore.

Terrible Timing

A surging Whites Creek program inadvertently decided to have their worst quarter in a month while Stratford had their best.  The Spartans rattled off 29 points in the face of a meek nine point Cobra hiss.

In an unrelated example of terrible timing, Stratford earned a technical foul on their bench for entering the court during play.

To finish out the theme, Whites Creek hit numerous three-pointers in the final four minutes lightyears after the game’s outcome was determined.

Fear the Carpenter

Junior Juwon Carpenter is such a tough check.  The strong 6-foot-2 lead guard can get to the basket.  He can hit the outside shot.  Carpenter can out-run smaller guards.  The change of direction he employs makes him exceptionally elusive.

Along with Ja’Hari Reed, Carpenter deserves credit for the monster SHS third quarter.

When Carpenter lofted a skyward lob to Mike Wallace late in the third quarter Stratford slammed out to a 59-45 score.

Carpenter appears to be a second half player.  As opposing guards began to tire Carpenter revs up.

In case fans missed the first lob, Carpenter delivered another two possessions later.  Wallace smashed it home again, this time drawing a foul in the process.

D Wade In Demand

Whites Creek needs Dylan Wade on the floor.  The sophomore rebounds everything on the defensive end.  Stratford is a ferociously aggressive offensive rebounding team.  With Ja’Hari Reed, Juwon Carpenter, and Mike Wallace the Spartans routinely make their second chance their best chance.

The second quarter was all Wade.  The lefty dominated the glass on both ends.  Even more impressive, Wade scored at will against Kevonte Boyd and the Spartan post defenders.  Of the WCHS 29 points in the second quarter Wade scored eight points (4-8 FT’s in 2nd).

Double Trouble

Like they did the last time the Spartans stepped into East Nashville’s gym Stratford inspired a whistle symphony.

Tweet.  Tweet.   Tweet, tweet, tweet.   Tweet.

You don’t need to watch the game film.  You just read the complete audio transcript.

Damn, the refs enjoyed stopping play.  In all, the first half of Stratford-Whites Creek included 26 fouls.   Imagine 1.6 whistles per minute…and you begin to comprehend how stunted and ragged the game began.

In an effort to outperform his fellow refs, one gentleman whacked Rashawn Richardson with a technical foul in the closing seconds of the first half.

Dylan Wade picked up two fouls in the first minute of the third quarter.  The official wrongly tagged him with a third foul seconds later, only to change it to the correct culprit (George Woods).  It was Woods’ fourth foul.    Just in case you thought Wade got the message, he didn’t.   Twenty seconds later Wade completely earned his third foul with an over-the-back reach on the offensive glass.

Not coincidentally, Wade fouled out on the cleanest block of the season with 7:00 left in the fourth quarter.

Foul accumulation had an enormous impact on the game.

Kevonte Boyd picked up his fourth foul midway through the third quarter.  Mike Wallace missed the entire first half with his two immediate fouls.

Depth Matters

Stratford faced significant foul trouble in the first half, but they persevered with bench players.  Khendil Jones scored three points.  Ontoria Graham helped out.  TaSan Coleman scored five points.   Mike Wallace came back to dominate, but his absence did not hurt the Stratford Spartans much thanks to the bench support.  Coleman’s back-to-back triples put an exclamation point on the Stratford win.

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