Early deficit dooms Panthers
Less than three minutes into their non-district basketball clash with West Point’s invading Pointers, Charles City’s Panthers found themselves trailing by 10 points. It was a deficit from which the hosts never fully recovered.
West Point turned back every Charles City comeback attempt on the way to a 74-60 triumph. The Jan. 2 outcome lowered the Panthers’ record to 2-5.
“We’re a very young team and it takes too long for us to get started,” said Charles City head coach Brenner Carter.
“The kids have to learn that from the time the ball is tossed up, we’ve got to be ready to play,” he said. “We can’t play the game when we’re 10 to 12 points in the hole at the start.”
West Point took an early 12-2 lead, but the Panthers refused to fold, clawing their way back before the first quarter ended. Jared Woodley stuck back a teammate’s miss with 24 seconds left to close the gap to three at 18-15.
But the Pointers rebuilt their 10-point advantage before halftime, thanks in part to 18 points from guard George Michos, all on a half-dozen three-point shots. The visitors took a 39-29 lead to the locker room at the break.
Michos cooled off in the second half, draining just one more trey to finish with a game-high 21 points. But the Pointers resorted to beating Panther defenders off the dribble as Aaron Roane and Marcus Doyle combined for 26 points after the break.
West Point built a 54-40 lead late in quarter three, but Charles City closed the period with a 9-0 run. Aaronde Williams sank a pair of free throws at the 1:46 mark to start the surge. Vannie Spruell added a field goal and Williams struck from three-point range to force West Point to take time out. When play resumed, Reynard Black’s basket in the lane had Charles City within five at 54-49 heading into the final period.
West Point, however, regained control with an 8-0 run to open the fourth quarter. Charles City was unable to reduce the deficit below eight the rest of the way.
“We made a couple of runs, but then we’d turn the ball over or take a bad shot or throw a bad pass and [West Point] would go down and make a three-point play,” Carter said. “We’re just very inconsistent right now.”
Williams tossed in 19 points to lead Charles City. Woodley finished with nine followed by seven each from Spruell, Cetha Boone, and Kevin Braxton, Randall Hopkins’ five, and two apiece from Antonio Tabb, Trevor Jones, and Black.