Big second half lifts Rangers to victoryPublished 7:31am Tuesday, March 4, 2014
THREE OAKS — The Cassopolis boys’ basketball team used a stifling defensive effort and an electrifying second half scoring surge to corral the River Valley Mustangs 54-17 in the first round of the Class C District Tournament Monday night
The Rangers had to overcome an underwhelming first half, in which they were plagued with lethargy and rust, before they managed to abscond with the scoreboard and River Valley’s chances of extending its season.
“We hadn’t played in nearly a week and we looked a little rusty; but I expected that,” said Rangers head coach Ricky Evans.
“In the second half we came out and did what we were supposed to do. We moved the ball; we made our rotations; and most importantly, we finished our plays.”
Cass outscored the Mustangs 37-6 over the course of the game’s final two quarters to close out the home team and set up a showdown with its oldest of adversaries, the Brandywine Bobcats, on Wednesday evening.
Lynell Ballard led all scorers with 9-points while Cornelius Glass, J.J. Smith, and Deion Gatson each scored 8-apiece to power the equitable offensive attack for the Rangers.
“We’ve got them (Brandywine) again. We got them last time, but that won’t mean much this time around; with both of our seasons on the line? It’s going to be a dog fight,” Evans said.
The two Lakeland Conference rivals will square off on Wednesday at 8pm at Brandywine.
Cassopolis 54, River Valley 17
Lynell Ballard 9, Cornelius Glass 8, J.J. Smith 8, Deion Gatson 8, Brandon Glover 6, Noah Woods 4, Travis Edwards 4, Shane Los 2, Vashaun Morgan 2, Malik Ballard 2, Trevon Brown 1 John Hampton 0. TOTALS: TOTALS: 25 4-9 54
RIVER VALLEY 17
Jake Clark 6, Gabe Zeiger 5, Jimmy Ragosta 5, Austin Jones 1, Tim Snyder 0, Devin Morrow 0, Lars Wittenburg 0, Andrew Bellaire 0, Greg Palen 0, CJ Alexander 0, Chandler McLaughlin 0. TOTALS: TOTALS: 6 5-13 17
Cassopolis 10 17 35 54
River Valley 2 11 14 17
3-point baskets: Cassopolis 2 (Smith 2), River Valley 0. Total fouls (fouled out): Cassopolis 16 (none), River Valley 13 (none)