Earl Haig opens up perimeter for the long balls as Treston McCogg wins it in the clutch
A fourth quarter trey by Haig State’s Treston McCogg drained the hopes of an A.Y. Jackson victory Nov. 30.
The Jaguars fell 41-35 to their North Region rivals in senior boys basketball, but they put in a valiant effort with a new look roster, coach Terence Phillips said.
“This is the first time for some of these guys in the spotlight,” he said. “So it’s a new team being brought together.”
Still, the anchor of Jason Appiah-Ampofo at guard and the combined efforts of Arthur Morgan and Quincy Williams provided that burst in the first half.
Appiah-Ampofo directed traffic in the paint, forced three Earl Haig turnovers and added 10 points to the scoresheet.
The tandem of Williams-Morgan worked well on the pick-and-go, but Phillips admitted his charges ran out of momentum to keep their 22-17 lead at the half.
“In the second half their legs were gone,” he said.
Eric James, after seeing his troupe overpowered a week earlier by York Mills, was relieved Haig State pulled out the win in their second game.
“The first half wasn’t very good … we had 17 points at halftime,” he said. “We’ve been struggling in scoring so the second half was more the way we like to play and hopefully that can carry over into next week when we have a couple more games.”
Admitting there were no standouts, James said he gave up on the pick-and-roll and favoured his outside shooters, leading to several three pointers by both McCogg and Sam Aayani.
“It’s just a way to free up our shooters a little more,” he said. “We’ve been a little bit more fragmented.”
Machel Pottinger and McCogg led Haig scorers with 10 points each. Pottinger added five boards and a couple blocks.
The come-from-behind win for Earl Haig gives them momentum as they enter the weekend for a tournament in Markham at Middlefield CI.
There’s hope in James’ voice that his team will fair well, but there’s not one player rising to the leadership pedestal.
“Nobody is standing out right now,” James said. “We’re doing okay as a group.”
As for the Jaguars, they are regrouping. They were successful beating George S. Henry Lions 57-47 Dec. 2.
“Right now we have to build on this game,” Phillips said after the Nov. 30 loss. “I’m an emotional coach and the guys made me emotional in this game.
“The loss took the wind out of the team.”