Knights Split Pair Of Games In Florida Tournament – Arab Tribune

The Arab boys basketball team split a pair of games in the Sandestin Beach Blowout early this week in Florida, winning on Monday before falling to a Tennessee team on Tuesday after leading by nine going into the fourth quarter.

The Knights continued play in the tournament Wednesday and today.

Arab 44, Freeport (Fla.) 33

After knocking down 17 3’s at Grissom before Christmas, the Knights were only able to make three of them after a long journey to Florida.

“We missed a bunch of open shots,” said Arab coach Brandon Crews.

But, they still got a win, only this time with defense.

“We got in a stance, locked in, and won on the defensive end of the floor,” said Crews. “That’s what we had been preaching since April and May and we’re happy to see the dividends of that pay off.

“When you guard people, it gives you a chance to win when the ball is not going in and we saw a great example of that tonight.”

Arab led by four (26-22) at the half.

“We couldn’t buy a bucket, especially from the outside, but we just kept getting stop after stop after stop and it kept us in the game,” said Crews.

Arab’s offense centered around one man, Will Cavender, who had 24 points, including 20 in the first half.

“Will had a great game. Especially on offense, he carried us in the first half,” Crews said, adding there was one spot open for opportunity against the Bulldogs’ defense.

“They played a 2-3 zone and kept almost daring us to shoot the 3, but we kept missing,” Crews said. “We had an opportunity to go inside to Will around the free throw line area and he hit 12 shots.

“No 3’s, no free throws, just 12 shots. He earned those 24 points the hard way.” James Ed Johnson had 13 in the win.

William Blount (Tenn.) 55, Arab 51

The Knights played well Tuesday night against the now 12-3 Governors, who play in Tennessee’s largest classification. Arab led 28-24 at the half and were leading by nine heading into the fourth quarter.

“This one stung a little bit,” Crews said. “I was disappointed because I felt like we played well enough to win 80-85 percent of the game but we couldn’t seem to make plays down the stretch.”

Sometimes, players step up and take over. Such was the case here.

“Sometimes we coaches overcomplicate the game, but it really just came down to their two best players combining for 19 points in the fourth quarter that we couldn’t answer,” said Crews.

No question it was a tough loss after four players were in double figures for the Knights. Ed Johnson and Wes Johnson had 14 each and Cavender and Spencer Strickland had 10 each.

The Knights were scheduled to face Navarre, Fla., Wednesday morning.