Basketball: Yellowjackets overcome slow start, knock off Paradise

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, December 23, 2017
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The game did not start how the Boyd Yellowjackets envisioned.

SCORING IN TRAFFIC – Boyd’s Connor Richardson (30) goes up for a contested shot against Paradise. Richarcson had a game-high 18 points. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Trailing 8-7 after one quarter, Boyd was unable to find a rhythm offensively, committing several turnovers and missing open shots. With only a 14-12 advantage at halftime, the Yellowjackets were out of sync.

But as the old adage goes, it’s not how you start – it’s how you finish.

Boyd outscored Paradise 37-22 in the second half, using a 12-3 run in the third quarter to knock off the Panthers 51-34 Tuesday in the District 8-3A opener.

“We were pressing a little bit,” said Boyd coach Jacob Hines of his team’s slow start. “[We] didn’t have great ball movement – just trying too hard at times. We just had to calm down a little bit.”

Once the Yellowjackets calmed down, Boyd started running the floor and scoring easy points off Paradise turnovers and miscues. The Yellowjackets made a point to push the tempo in the second half. Boyd also started cleaning the glass, grabbing more rebounds to give themselves more chances on offense.

“We really struggled in the first quarter to get defensive rebounds,” Hines said. “And when we don’t get defensive rebounds that hurts us in transition, and that’s where we’re probably better at.”

Boyd was led in scoring by Connor Richardson, who had a game-high 18 points. Guard Reuben Rodebough was close behind, pouring in 17 points of his own.

Normally a drive-and-kick point guard, Rodebaugh has made a living this season attacking the rim and finding the open man on the perimeter. Paradise tried to deny Rodebaugh in the second half. The Panthers switched from a man to 2-3 zone in the third quarter, hoping to force Boyd onto the perimeter.

Rodebaugh, however, was not concerned with Paradise’s defensive scheme.

“I didn’t personally think they could guard our team, honestly,” Rodebaugh said.

With the win, Boyd moves to 10-2 on the season and 1-0 in district. The Yellowjackets have not lost a game since Nov. 30 against Godley.

Although his team is off to a hot start this year, Hines knows there is still plenty of season remaining.

“It’s kind of a cautious optimism,” Hines said. “We’re feeling confident, and we know we have a pretty solid team. We have a chance to be good. But we have to keep working, and we understand that as well.”

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