TJCA sweeps Crossnore
The Thomas Jefferson Gryphons placed three players in double figures and all 10 members of the squad scratched the scorebook as TJCA blitzed Crossnore Academy, 89-42, Tuesday night at Cool Springs Gym.
“Our goal tonight was to run all of our plays and get the younger guys some playing time, said TJCA head coach Ken Hines Sr. “We did that and everybody scored. All in all, I thing we did a good job.”
The speedy Gryphons (4-2) scored six early fast break points, capped on a driving layup by Nick Mintz. The Higlanders responded with four straight points from Will Pierce. Both teams then went cold from the field until Brooks Coder went to work in the paint late in the quarter. He gave the Gryphons a 17-7 lead and a 5-0 run by Mason Fenner in the final 10 seconds made the tally 22-9 at the end of the first quarter.
“I told the team we couldn’t blow a team out in the first quarter,” Hines said. “We just needed to take good shots and play good defense and we started to pull away.”
The Gryphons hit their stride early in the second quarter going on an 11-2 run. The quarter was also marked by unselfish play as seven different Gryphons scored in the frame.
Crossnore tried to stay within striking distance when T.J. McFalls banked in a 3-pointer. But the Gryphons were just too powerful as Logan Marshall garnered a putback to give TJCA a 45-19 lead at the break.
The story of the third quarter was the Gryphons' defense. They limited the Higlanders to just three points. On the offensive end, Fenner began to heat up from the outside.
After consecutive 3-pointers by Fenner, Crossnore came out of their zone, which allowed the Gryphon guards to easily get to the rim for baskets or assists. As a result, TJCA led 68-22 going into the final quarter.
The visitors went on a long run to start the fourth quarter mostly behind Pierce who had a game-high 20 points. After a quick timeout, Efrim Borders scored six straight points on drives to the basket and Jaylen Simmons hit a three from the near corner to restore order.
“We just quit playing defense early in the fourth,” Hines said. “I had to call a timeout and get them settled down a little. After that we were fine.”
From that point, the Gryphons cruised to the 89-42 win. Corder and Fenner led TJCA with 15 points each while Borders chipped in with 11.
Up next for TJCA is a key road tilt with Lincoln Charter Friday to open conference play.
“The game Friday is huge,” Hines said. “If we can win, we’ll be in first place and that’s something we can build on the rest of the season.”
Girls Game TJCA 61 Crossnore 9
The Lady Gryphons of Thomas Jefferson picked up their first win of the season in convincing fashion toppling the Lady Highlanders, 61-9.
“It’s nice for the team to get a win,” said head coach Roy Parton. “I think we played well, but the game we our focused on is our first conference game Friday night. We need to play well to show that we can be competitive in the conference.”
Erin Tevis led a balanced TJCA attack with 13 points.