Big first quarter helps Charles City snap six-game losing streak
With the regular season winding down, Charles City’s basketball team has been dealing with injuries along with a tough schedule to prepare for a possible playoff appearance. And with healthy bodies starting to return along with team chemistry starting to click again, Tuesday night’s contest against the visiting West Point Pointers couldn’t arrive at a better time for the hosts.
After building a big first half lead, Charles City’s Panthers held on for a 64-53 win, snapping a six-game losing skid.
In the opening quarter, West Point had no answer for slowing down Panther guard Jonlei Coles. The senior guard pumped in 15 points by himself in the first, outscoring the entire West Point team and pacing Charles City to an 18-10 lead.
After West Point cut the lead to 10 (22-12), the hosts made their second big run of the night, this time led by senior forward Taylor Bey. Bey scored eight points as the Panthers built a 40-22 lead heading into the halftime intermission.
But Charles City’s shooting touch eluded them to begin the third quarter. West Point chipped away behind scores from wingman Cy Gresham and Aiden Ellwanger for a 10-0 scoring run before Bey’s free throw at the 4:36 mark snapped it. Panther big man Joseph Simms putback started Charles City’s scoring again as they closed the third quarter with a 49-35 lead. From there, the Panthers and Pointers exchanged baskets throughout the fourth as time expired on the clock with the home team victorious.
After the contest, Charles City Head Coach De’Quantae Mason talked about his team being mentally tough and staying locked in for the entire game.
“We have to continue to do the right things as a team, especially in close games,” he emphasized. “Sometimes we relax, and the job is still all four quarters.
“We have to stay focused with our team chemistry and work hard in practice,” Mason concluded.
Charles City (8-12) were led by Coles’ 31 points. Bey also finished in double figures with 14, Shane Jones added nine, Simms finished with four, and the duo of Gavin Stewart and Terrell Crawley each added three.