SPORTS HEADLINES

Basketball: Yellowjackets keep playoff hopes alive

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, January 27, 2018
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The Boyd Yellowjackets nearly let their third-quarter woes get the best of them again.

PUTTING ONE UP – Boyd’s Blake Rodgers gets off a shot despite the effort of Paradise’s Michael Passariello. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Trying to snap a five-game losing streak and keep their slim playoff hopes alive, Boyd came out white-hot. The Yellowjackets quickly mounted a double-digit lead thanks to timely rebounding and outside shooting.

But almost as quickly as Boyd built the lead, Paradise came storming back. Facing adversity, the Yellowjackets never wavered after watching their lead evaporate. In the fourth quarter, Boyd took it to their rivals, outscoring the Panthers 17-6 in the final frame to pick up a key 53-42 victory.

“Part of that [losing] skid [was] we weren’t good in the third quarter,” said Boyd coach Jacob Hines. “We kind of struggled in the third quarter again tonight. But we were able to finally overcome it. So hopefully we got the monkey off our back. It’s nice to win one after you lose five in a row.”

The win moved Boyd to 14-8 on the season and 2-6 in District 8-3A play. The Yellowjackets also swept the season series from Paradise, as the loss put a huge dent in the Panthers’ playoff hopes.

As for Boyd, the Yellowjackets have little room for error down the stretch if they want a shot at playing in the postseason.

“We still kind of control our destiny if we can get off to a good start,” Hines said. “That’s what I told them before this game started. Right now, at this point before this game, we were 0-0. We were just trying to go 1-0 and we did that. We’re just trying to worry about us and we’ll see what happens.”

Blake Rodgers finished second in scoring with 15 and gave Boyd a much-needed interior presence. Rodgers had several key rebounds throughout the game, particularly on the offensive end.

When he wasn’t cleaning the glass, Rodgers was knocking down several perimeter shots, especially in the first half.

“He was huge,” Hines said. “He was big in the first quarter, too. When he rebounds for us, we’re a much better team.”

Reuben Rodebaugh led the Yellowjackets in scoring with 17 points, draining three 3-pointers. Rodebaugh also orchestrated Boyd’s fast break, helping the Yellowjackets get out and run in transition.

Rodebaugh said at times during their losing skid he thought Boyd didn’t play their game. Against Paradise, however, he thought pushing the pace helped the Yellowjackets get back on track.

“I’m feeling great,” Rodebaugh said. “It feels like we got our confidence back.”

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