Tigers Try to Ride the Green Wave
On Tuesday, January 2, the Caruthersville Tigers (JV 1-0, Varsity 4-3) took on the Malden Green Wave (JV 6-1, Varsity 9-2). The Tigers had planned on riding the Green Wave for wins for the JV and Varsity but only achieved half of their goal. The JV came away with their second win of the season while the varsity fell to .500. The evening was exciting as all Caruthersville rivalries games go. The Malden-Caruthersville game is a close second to the Caruthersville-Hayti game in basketball and football. This game was no exception; both teams battled right up to the final buzzer.
The evening started with the JV teams hitting the hardwood. The Tigers got the tip-off, and each team scored almost immediately afterward. The Tigers kept Malden from making many baskets after that point through blocking and steals. The first period went to the Tigers easily, 18-7 Tigers after one. As the second period started, both teams stepped up the pace. Both teams intercepted passes, took rebounds and took advantage of fouls. Malden managed to get within 2 points of the Tigers and even went ahead for a short time because of a technical foul. The Tigers were not having any of that and retook the lead. Both teams jockeyed back and forth from that point on in the period. The half ended with the two teams knotted at 26.
The second half of the JV game stayed with the same tempo that the first half ended. The teams both came out charged and ready to go. The scoring continued to seesaw for a bit longer, but the Tigers eventually were able to go ahead and stay there. By the end of the third period, the score was 43-36 Tigers. The Tigers kept up the scoring with a three-point shot and a foul to add to their lead. Malden picked up the pace and tried to catch up, but when the final buzzer sounded, the Tigers had the game; 55-52 Caruthersville.
The Tiger Varsity wanted to match the JV performance, but Malden got the tip-off and first points. The Tigers quickly returned the favor, scoring quickly to match the tempo set by Malden. Malden took advantage of a few steals and took the early lead, but the Tigers wouldn't let them get too far ahead. The Tigers kept up the pressure and eventually took the lead by the end of the first period, 17-16 Tigers. The second period started with the Tigers keeping the lead, but Malden was breathing down their backs. The lead kept changing back and forth over the second period. The half ended with Malden in the lead by one, 29-30 Malden.
The second half started off as aggressively as the first ended, both teams scoring equally, including matching 3-point shots. The Tigers stayed within two points until the very end of the third period when Malden made a 3-point shot shortly after the Tigers had tied the score; Malden led by only 3 at the end of three periods, 42-45. The back and forth momentum continued into the fourth period. The Tigers managed to get within one several times. Near the end of the game, Malden made a 3-point shot and then stole a Tiger rebound to carry the momentum to the end of the game. The Green Wave crashed on to the shores of Tiger passes and swept the ball away on the free throw line. These small differences allowed Malden to gain a lead and hold it until the end to squash the Tiger ride. The final score was Malden 62-54.
After the game, Coach Bell had this to say on the game, “We just couldn’t find the shot [near the end of the game]; we had some good looks. We just couldn’t get it to fall. Malden had two big shots in the stretch. That's what you need to do, make shots when it counts. For the most part, I think we played great. We had a bad day of shooting from the free-throw line and not a great day of rebounding. With a good team like Malden, you have to go up on the free throw line, make rebounds and can’t miss any shots. That is what we did. We got to get back in the gym and fix it and get back in there.”
High scorers: Tallon Fonda-18 points GT Hays-12 points Charles Golliday-10 points Nick Moore-9points Amaud Bates-5 points