E.A. Sports Today

Lions answer coach’s call

Dawson gets players’ attention, they respond with big fourth quarter

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

There may be one thing basketball players hate worse than being made to run. It’s running with everybody watching.

That was the threat Faith Christian coach Bradley Dawson dangled over his players’ heads Saturday if they didn’t get on the stick and play smart with the lead.

Oh, the Lions had their eventual 52-25 win over Spring Garden well in hand at the time, but they weren’t acting like it. So Dawson laid down the law — and his players responded.

Logan Williamson came out of the gate with two quick 3-pointers, the Lions scored the first 14 points of the quarter to get to a running clock and they it going away.

“We didn’t want to start the second half like we did against Ohatchee (in the Cleburne County Holiday Invitational),” Williamson said. “He sat us (in the third quarter) and yelled at us. You think this is fun? This is your last chance. You’re going to go in there and play like you know how … or you’re going to run after the game – in front of everybody.”

The Lions (12-6) jumped out to a 20-4 lead and were ahead by 18 at halftime, but they scored only seven points in the third quarter because of poor shot selection to basically hold the same margin going into the fourth quarter.

Against a young team like the Panthers (4-12), who didn’t hit double digits in any quarter and now have lost five in a row, the situation was more annoying for Faith than troublesome. But against a stronger opponent, in a game of higher stakes, similar poor judgment could have disastrous results.

“We don’t know how to play with a lead; we’ve struggled with that all year long,” Dawson said. “We don’t know the difference between a good shot and a bad shot when we’re up 15 or 20.

“The reason people make runs on us is we start taking bad shots. We start settling for our jump shots when we should shoot layups. That’s my biggest beef. They set a little while in the third quarter maybe to wake them up a little bit.”

Williamson’s quick 3s to open the fourth quarter helped him finish with a game-high 17 points. No one else scored in double figures for the Lions, but everyone played and scored. Caleb McCord had nine and Jordan Griswald had eight.

Tanner Parker led Spring Garden with 12 points.

Faith Christian 52, Spring Garden 25

SPRING GARDEN (4-12) – Riley Austin 1 0-0 2, Dakota Lambert 2 1-3 5, Ben Ivey 0 0-1 0, Dylan Rogers 0 0-0 0, Draevan Bowman 0 0-0 0, Tanner Parker 4 2-2 12, Joe Rogers 1 3-4 5, Jacob Poole 0 1-2 1. Totals 8 7-12 25.

FAITH CHRISTIAN (12-6) – Ryan Crosby 2 0-0 4, Jordan Griswald 3 2-3 8, Jameson Adams 1 0-0 2, Logan Williams 6 1-3 17, Caleb McCord 4 0-0 9, Jack Sills 0 1-3 1, Michael Kulick 1 0-0 3, Josiah McDaniel 2 2-4 6, Alex Taylor 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 6-13 52.

Spring Garden 4 7 8 6 — 25
Faith Christian 16 13 7 16 — 52

3-point goals: Spring Garden 2 (Parker 2); Faith Christian 6 (Williamson 3, McCord, Kulich). Total fouls: Spring Garden 13, Faith Christian 13.

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