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Posted On: 11/6/18 10:15 PM
Prior to the season, Center Hill head coach Newton Mealer mentioned his team is going to play hard and thrive on defense. Two games in, the Mustangs are what Mealer was hoping they would be: unselfish and gritty.
In the Olive Branch Classic Tuesday night at Olive Branch High School, Center Hill defeated Cleveland Central, 85-55. The Mustangs started the game on a 16-0 run that was highlighted by senior point guard Calvin Temple’s transition lob dunk that ignited the crowd for the next five minutes after it happened.
The Wolves didn’t score until the 4:15 mark of the first quarter. Center Hill’s senior shooting guard Kevin Henry, who had 10 points, pushed his team’s lead up to 30 in the third quarter off an uncontested layup. The Mustangs pressed, mainly using a 1-3-1, and harassed Cleveland Central all night long, to the point the Wolves couldn’t run any offensive sets.
It’s going to be important for Center Hill to continue to play well, because its schedule will get tough as the season progresses. Before Christmas, the Mustangs will have to play the Whitehaven Tigers out of Memphis, Tennessee. Coach Faragi Phillips’ team is loaded with guards and has a 7-foot-2 post player in Jordan Wilmore, who has progressed since he’s arrived at the end of the summer.
There were some things to take away from Center Hill’s performance, so here are five takeaways from its second win of the season:
Temple has to make open 3s
Calvin Temple had wide open opportunities from long range, but couldn’t knock down those shots. He mentioned after the game he has to knock down those shots. Anyways, Temple finished with a game-high 29 points and went 4 for 6 from the free throw line.
Goodwin doesn’t give up on plays
It doesn’t matter if senior point guard Cameron Goodwin loses control of the basketball and slips to the floor, he’s going to find a way to keep his hands on the basketball. If Goodwin turns the basketball over, he rushes back to play defense. Goodwin is an all-around basketball player that every team needs. He does a little bit of everything, and oh yeah, he had 10 points.
Braxton Morris finally woke up
Coach Mealer saw potential in junior guard Braxton Morris, but he didn’t give 100 percent at practice at times. Morris was very alert on both ends of the court. He made some nice assists in the first half to Temple and forward Decorian Payton. He added 15 points on a night nothing could go wrong for he and his teammates.
Payton needs to improve on free throws
Decorian Payton went 4 for 8 from the foul line. It seemed like he didn’t put enough air on his shot attempts. He’s very physical and is very alert on the glass. He’s going to get plenty of opportunities to go to the foul line this season. He just has to knock the shots down. Payton finished with 13 points.
Mealer didn’t have a full lineup
Mealer was without sophomore forward Kaeden Laws and senior guard Kenneth Lewis. Laws suffered a broken knuckle in his right hand in the team’s 81-47 win over Tupelo last weekend. Lewis rolled his ankle and wasn’t able to go on Tuesday night. Yet, the Mustangs were clicking on all cylinders. Just imagine how Center Hill will be once everyone is healthy. This could be a fun team to watch this season.