First-half drought too much for John Wood men to overcome in home setback
QUINCY — When you’re a .500 team, you win some and you lose some. You will have good moments and bad moments.
The John Wood Community College men’s basketball team lost Saturday afternoon at home to Parkland College 65-62. The Trail Blazers’ record sits at 14-13, and like their season, the contest included good things and bad things.
The Trail Blazers scored on eight of their first nine possessions and led 23-8 at the 11:23 mark of the first half. That’s good.
For the rest of the half, John Wood would not make another field goal and trailed 40-29 at the intermission. That’s bad.
JWCC coach Brad Hoyt has seen this all season.
“We just lose our flow offensively,” he said. “We just don’t create enough easy things as we go through a half. We lost our fight midway through the first half.”
The second half started similarly to the first half, as John Wood pulled within 46-40 after the first five minutes. Another field goal drought of six minutes allowed Parkland to push the lead back to double digits.
Hoyt inserted freshman Isaiah Ramey and sophomore Justin Turner into the game at the 11-minute mark, hoping to spark the Trail Blazers. The two combined for 13 points.
Turner nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner with 13 seconds remaining in the game to pull the Blazers within 64-62. After a timeout, John Wood forced a five-second baseline violation and had the ball under its own basket. An offensive foul on the inbounds play, however, gave the ball back to Parkland.
After a Cobra free throw, a 3-pointer to tie the score at the closing buzzer bounced high off the rim.
The Trail Blazers fell to 2-5 in region play.
Three games away from the beginning of the postseason, the Blazers realize the urgency to solving offensive struggles.
“We have to find that thing that makes the game easier,” Hoyt said. “We’ve got to find something that releases some of that pressure. Again, we’ve just been dragging each other along here the last four or five months, and it’s becoming hard.”
Top scorer Jeremiah Talton (22 ppg this season), a Quincy High School graduate, was held to a single basket and three points.
“He’s getting bumped and guarded the way he should be,” Hoyt said. “Getting him back on track obviously helps us offensively, but at same time, it’s not his responsibility to carry us offensively. We’ve got to find something we can all do collectively together.”
Jensen Whiteman was the only Trail Blazer in double figures with 15.
Hoyt and his team continues to search for answers as the postseason nears.
“I’m pretty stubborn on what I think we need to look like to be able to play in that region title game,” he said. “We’re going to keep working. Now that may not be the easiest path throughout the course of the year, but it is absolutely the way we need to play to win the region tournament.”
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