Watson Chapel’s SanAntonio Cole drives to the basket splitting the double team of Searcy’s Javien Reynolds and Camdon Woodruff (2) on Tuesday. Xavier Young, foreground, runs down the floor on the play. (Special to The Commercial/Mike Adam)
Before Tuesday’s game against Searcy, Watson Chapel head coach Matt Busch said whichever post player could grab the most rebounds would get to start in Friday’s game against Conway.
Benjamin Marcus must have paid attention.
Playing for only about 16 minutes, Marcus came off the bench and led the Wildcats with 13 points and in rebounds as Watson Chapel defeated Searcy 48-31 for their first win of the season.
“He played big and very aggressive,” Busch said.
With about 3:56 left in the third quarter, Marcus scored and gave the Wildcats a 30-21 lead. He scored the Wildcats’ next six points as they took a 36-23 lead.
“We knew they were going to run a lot of stuff,” Busch said. “Offensively, they are very organized and flexible. They do a lot of back cuts and stuff.
“They are good test for us.”
Busch said they accomplished one of their goals for Tuesday by not allowing Searcy to score more than 10 points every quarter.
“Defensively, we gave them fits,” Busch said. “Anytime you can hold somebody under 10 points in every quarter, you are going to have a good chance to win.”
Despite the effort, Busch did say the team was a little rusty, especially on defense early in the game.
“Mainly with just defensive rotations,” Busch said. “It could have been better. We fouled 12 times in the first two quarters by putting our hands on people, instead of sliding our feet.”
Watson Chapel missed nine free throws, but they led at 22-15 at halftime.
C.J. Robinson scored 11 points and Charles Owens scored 10 for the Wildcats.
“We run a lot of stuff for [C.J.],” Busch said. “I want C.J. to succeed as bad as he wants to succeed.”
Robinson hit back-to-back three-point baskets to give Watson Chapel an 11-3 lead in the first quarter. By the end of the first, Watson Chapel led 14-9.
“I thought C.J. really carried us early by hitting the two early threes,” Busch said.
Emaje Young led Searcy with 10 points.
“Searcy is a good basketball team,” Busch said. “They are very well coached.”
The Wildcats will host Conway on Friday.