Defending co-state champion Mathews crushes Charles City in district opener
Charles City’s Panthers were one of the very few teams who handed a defeat to the Group 1A Co-State defending champions Mathews’ Blue Devils. On Dec. 23, there was a firm display on the court on why the visiting Blue Devils are defending state champions.
Behind three double-digit scorers, Mathews easily triumphed over Charles City 72-43 in the Tidewater District contest opener for both teams.
The host Panthers took their only lead of the night in the earlier onset of the contest, as Kobie Trull’s wing trifecta found the bottom of the net. But from there, Mathews methodically started to do small things in the contest, pulling to a 13-8 lead after the first quarter.
Kameron Johnson’s lay-in cut the lead to three at the beginning of the second quarter. But from there, Mathews got easy scores from guards Samuel Thomas and John Green that sparked an 8-0 run. Charles City whittled the lead back to five before a late basket by the visitors provided a 27-20 advantage.
After Johnson’s lay-in to start the second half looked to spark the Panthers, Mathews ramped up pressure. Using their size and aggressiveness, the Blue Devils catapulted out to a huge third quarter advantage. Transition mistakes and mental errors by the hosts resulted in turnovers. Capitalizing on the errors is Group 1A all-state first team selection Caleb Thomas, whose two-hand jammed highlighted the second half, where the Panthers were outscored 46-22.
After the contest, third year head coach Terrell Brooks was straight to the point when it came to the disappointment and effort this team displayed.
“They outhustled us, they out muscled us, and they outsmarted us,” he said. “There was a lack of defensive intensity and lack of offensive awareness.
“It’s not many x’s and o’s that we can do from a coaching perspective if you’re getting outhustled,” Brooks continued. “It’s loose balls. It’s second chance points. It’s things like that I’m going to focus on when I watch film.”
Charles City (1-1) received a game-high 23 points from Johnson. Tayvion Harris pumped in seven, Keondre Barnes and Bryan Lewis Jr. each added four, Trull scored three, and Taylor Bey chipped in with two.