Just how much does a home court advantage really mean?
While it varies for the most part, it was worth 26 points to Fullington Academy’s girls and 11 or more to its boys in their Friday night twin bill vs. Citizens Christian of Douglas.
A 37-point, 55-18 loser to the Lady Patriots in a game played seven days earlier in Douglas, coach Mike Cason’s Lady Trojans bowed to them by just 11, 46-35 in the re-match.
A two-point, 71-69 victim of the Patriots in the initial clash between the two, coach Van Bailey’s Trojans posted a 70-61 triumph that wasn’t as close as the final score sounds.
Neither of the Fullington teams will return to the hardwood again until Friday when the now 3-5 Lady Trojans and 3-3 Trojans play host to Westfield of Perry.
Lady Pats 46, Lady Trojans 35
For almost three full quarters not only did the Lady Trojans play with the team that had easily conquered them before, but they also led them most of the way.
It was 13-8 and 23-18 in favor of Fullington at the first two rest breaks before the Lady Patriots went up by one, 31-30, entering the back stretch where the visitors secured their hard-earned win with a 15-5 advantage.
“We did great for three periods and then fizzled out at the end as we got a little tired,” said Cason.
“Overall, though, I thought we played one of our better games of the season.”
Darrian Bailey swished nylon for a season-high 18 points that earned her scoring honors for the Lady Trojans and the game. Lauren Burke paced Citizens Christian with 15.
Score by Quarters
Citizens Christian 8-10-13-15 — 46
Fullington Academy 13-10-7-5 — 35
Citizens Christian (46) — Lauren Burke 15, Mary Roberson 6, Jacey Pruitt 4, Kendal Day 13, Mallory Walters 2, Jeris Johnson 6.
Team totals: field goals 17; free throws 11 of 24 (45.5%); fouls 21; 3-pointers — Day 1; fouled out — none.
Fullington (35) — Darrian Bailey 18, Hannah Clements, Lena van Assendelft 2, Rachel McCleskey 6, Madison Warbington 8, Lex van Assendelft 1, Alyssa Edwards.
Team totals: field goals 11; free throws 11 of 22 (50%); fouls 17; 3-pointers — McCleskey 1, Warbington 1; fouled out — none.
Trojans 70, Patriots 61
Opening the game with what Bailey considered “the best three quarters we’ve played all year,” the Trojans bolted to rest break advantages of 18-12, 33-24 and 57-30.
Once the score doubled at 60-30 in favor of the home team, Bailey inserted his second stringers who pretty much retained that margin until they, too, departed to let Fullington freshmen log court time.
The Patriots took advantage of that match-up, staying with their starters to press the youthful Trojans and gradually close within eight before Bailey rushed his regulars back on the floor with a couple of minutes left to make sure victory didn’t slip away.
“In building our big lead, we kept running in fresh legs and pressing them while doing a great job,” Bailey said. “We had guys hustling and getting after every loose ball while turning in the game I’ve been looking for all along.”
David Roney and Levi McKinney both turned in a double-double for the victors. The former had 18 points and 13 rebounds. The latter sank 13 points and grabbed 11 errant shots. Mark McCleskey also reached double digits in points (10) for the winners. O.J. Simpson had a game-high 25 in defeat.
Score by Quarters
Citizens Christian 12-12-6-30 — 60
Fullington Academy 18-15-23-15 — 71
Citizens Christian (60) — Devin Paulk 8, Theorayn Lott 2, Jake Reyes 8, O.J. Simpson 25, Zach Ray 8, Alex Willis 9.
Team totals: field goals 19; free throws 19 of 30 (63.3%); fouls 27; 3-pointers — Reyes 1, Ray 2; fouled out — Simpson, Lott.
Fullington (71) — Adam Roney, Austin McIntyre, Levi McKinney 13, Paul Dossett 6, Ty Tyndal, Gavin Reed, Jim Hartin, Braden Shealy 14, Mark McCleskey 10, Jordan Harris 3, Daniel Cape 4, David Roney 18, Logan Priest, Jackson McGraw, Cole Thompson 1, Forrest Ager, Andrew Mitcham, Butler Clements 2.
Team totals: field goals 21; free throws 24 of 37 (64.3%); fouls 25; 3-pointers — Shealy 2, McCleskey 3; fouled out — Cape.