The Watson Chapel Wildcats like to rely on pressure defense to create turnovers and get easy buckets. On Tuesday night, the Wildcats’ defense did just that.
The Wildcats’ defense allowed just 10 first half points and forced 13 turnovers on the night en route to a 38-28 victory over the Magnolia Panthers during senior night at Wildcat Gymnasium.
“I thought our seniors did a really good job,” Watson Chapel head coach Matt Busch said. “I’m really proud of our seniors. I thought our zone defense was really good and I thought our trap was really good.”
Senior Ben Marcus led the Wildcats in his last home game at Watson Chapel. Marcus came out on fire to give his team a 7-0 lead, including back-to-back highlight reel dunks. The Wildcats went on to lead the Panthers 10-5 at the end of the first quarter.
“Ben played really well,” Busch said. “He got a couple of early steals and he had the two big dunks.”
Watson Chapel (19-6, 11-3 5A-South) held Magnolia to just five second quarter points as the Panthers (9-12, 3-11) were unable to get anything going offensively. However, the Panthers did have a nice end to the half when Justin Dockery hit a deep three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the Wildcat lead to 19-10 at halftime.
The Wildcats came out of the second half on an 8-0 run led by its seniors to give Chapel a 27-10 lead. After a Panther bucket, senior Calvin Robinson threw a beautiful lob pass to Marcus who caught it and slammed it down as the Wildcats led 29-12 with 5:14 left in the quarter.
The Panthers tried to fight back in the fourth quarter outscoring the Wildcats 7-6, but the Wildcats maintained its double-digit lead while dribbling out the clock for the majority of the fourth quarter.
Marcus stuffed the stat sheet in his final home game as a Wildcat. He led the team with 15 points while adding nine rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Robinson finished his senior night with six points, four assists and one rebound. Bryan Kentle ended his last home game with six points, a rebound and a steal.
Magnolia was led by Daldric Harris who finished with 11 points while adding three rebounds, two steals and a block.
With the win, Chapel now awaits the results of the Hot Springs game to determine if Chapel will be the #1 or #2 seed for the south in the 5A state playoffs.
“We won 19 games (this year),” Busch said. “We have improved this group (of seniors). They won 16 games, 18 games and now 19. They have improved every year that they have been in our program, and I just couldn’t be happier for them and the season they put out.”
Watson Chapel 54 , Magnolia 23
The Watson Chapel Lady Wildcats used a 23-7 run in the first quarter in coasting to a 31-point win against the Magnolia Lady Panthers at Wildcat Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
Watson Chapel (15-11, 10-4 5A-South) received 16 points from Peyton Martin and senior Kierra Cox added 13 points and seven assists to finish her senior night.
Timesha Cole scored a team-high 17 points for Chapel.
The Lady Wildcats forced turnover after turnover and dominated the glass while the Lady Panthers struggled to put the ball in the basket all night.
Magnolia (6-14, 4-10) was led by Akia Flanigan, who finished with 16 points.