Valdosta Daily Times

Breaking News:

Local Sports

November 17, 2013

Blazer Basketball moves to 3-0

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State Blazers used an explosive second half surge to knock off the Carver Bible Cougars 107-80 on Sunday afternoon.

The Blazers outscored the Cougars 61-38 in second half behind the play of senior guard Jeremy McKay and sophomore Blake Justice.

The duo combined for 33 points in the second half, including seven three-pointers to blow the game open.

Justice scored a season-high 30 points for the Blazers while McKay finished with 23 off the bench. The Blazers finished 15-of-38 from beyond the arc with Justice and McKay combining to shoot 9-of-16.

“We came out and knew the crowd would be a little slim,” Justice said. “I started off hot, they found me. Jeremy was hot in the second half and we found him. We all just came together.”

The Blazers won the rebounding battle 51-49 but struggled to corral defensive boards as the Cougars grabbed 22 offensive rebounds on the night.

“I was a little disappointed that we didn’t do a better job (rebounding) on the defensive end,” Helfer said. “A lot of those rebounds came out to 10 to 12 feet and that’s more of a guard responsibility more so than the big guys.”

David Murray ripped down a game-high 14 rebounds, his third consecutive double-digit effort this season. Murray’s work on the boards earned praise from his coach after the game.

“He’s really expanded his game,” Helfer said. “I haven’t seen a kid make that kind of stride in the ability to rebound as he has done in one year. It’s really been amazing.”

The Blazers’ offense caught fire due in large part to their ball movement. The Blazers had 15 assists on 20 field goals in the second half.

“We worked really hard on if you can get to the paint, to make the read,” Helfer said. “Blake scored, Jeremy scored but I’d rather do it by committee. If somebody in the committee gets hot, we’re going to use that and that’s what we did tonight for both of those guys.”

    Playing its second game in as many nights, the Blazers shot just 39.5 percent from the field and committed six turnovers in the first half.

    The Blazers took a 46-42 lead into halftime after guard Jalen Crawford buried a corner three-pointer at the buzzer.

    Carver Bible shot 41 percent and out-rebounded the Blazers 24-22 but the Blazers countered by making nine of 11 free throws in the opening frame.

    Blake Justice had 17 first-half points for the Blazers while Carver got 10 from guard Julian Brattan.

The first half featured nine lead changes and six ties. The Blazers shuffled their lineup for the first time this season, electing to start forward-center Jarod Leonard over junior Colin Cook.

“I thought (the big men) played great,” Helfer said. “I thought Colin played really well tonight especially offensively around the goal. I thought he affected a lot of shots at the other end. And I think Jarod, just like he always does, got fouled inside and got to the free throw line, so I was happy for those kids.”

The Blazers (3-0) placed five players in double figures behind Justice and McKay as Colin Cook and Larry Stone each had 12 and Jalen Crawford chipped in with 10.

For the Cougars, guard Julian Bratton finished with a 16 points and 10 rebounds. Devante Bagley added 15 points and forward Troy Swanson had 13 for the Cougars who fell to 2-6 on the season.

Though the Blazers are 3-0, Helfer believes his team hasn’t scratched the surface on how good they can be.

“We’ve got to get better,” Helfer said. “We’re nowhere near to being a very good basketball team—I think we’re an OK basketball team. I compliment them on what we’ve accomplished but we’ve got to recognize the minor, little things that end up being big things if we don’t fix them now.”

The Blazers will have Monday off before they resume practice in preparation for Johnson C. Smith who visit The Complex on November 23. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Hall_Maddux.jpg Hall of Braves

    The weird part was that Jeff Idelson didn't take a lot of time to answer.
    "Is there any word or description that unifies this class?" was the query posed to the National Baseball Hall of Fame's president.
    "The common thread among the six is profound humility," Idelson said of former managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa, and former players Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, all of whom will be inducted into the Hall today. "I don't think I realized that fully until I spent time with them in December. It was uncanny to me, for the cumulative star power in that group, the humility among them. I think that's felt really strongly with baseball fans."

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • Hall_Cox.jpg Cox’s willingness to defend players stands out to local coaches

    Bobby Cox will be able to add Hall of Famer to his resume when he is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame today in Cooperstown, N.Y.
    But the former Atlanta Braves manager’s legacy will remain the same to area baseball coaches: his willingness to defend his players.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Valwood_Henderson.jpg Area teams hoping to get over the hump

    Past successes lead to present and future expectations.
    That’s the task faced by pretty much all 12 area high school football coaches present Saturday at In The Game Magazine’s South Georgia Football media day at the Holiday Inn conference center.
    It’s a task that also has the elite group searching for answers as to how to get past the state championship road block in recent years, aside from Valwood’s GISA Class AA crown in 2012.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • VHS little cats camp 1.jpg Valdosta hosts fundamental camp for ‘Little ’Cats’

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • VHS practice1.jpg Getting Back to Work

    Friday officially began the 2014 season for the Valdosta Wildcats and both the offense and defense came out and made statements.
    After holding spring and summer workouts, the Wildcats will practice four more times without pads before beginning full pad practice next week.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lowndes_Brooks1.jpg Lowndes second-most dominant program in state since 2004

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Falcons_Jones.jpg Falcons open camp with ‘sense of urgency’

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Padres_braves.jpg Padres, Hahn silence Braves

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former Blazer Kugbila out for season

    Now, after missing the 2013 season with a knee injury, this signals another hardship for the promising guard.

    July 25, 2014

  • LHS baseball signing Two Lowndes grads sign scholarships

    Lowndes graduates Henry Hoff and Nick Higginbotham decided to take the next step in their respective baseball careers together on Thursday as both signed a letter-of-intent with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog
More