LAURINBURG — A new era in Scotland High School basketball began Tuesday, but neither of the new coaches found the result they were looking for in their debuts against Seventy-First. The girls’ team lost 64-48, while the boys lost 72-49.
Michael Malpass coached in his first game as leader of the Scotland’s boys’ team, and said Seventy-First put more pressure on his team than they were used to from practice. Both teams took to the court for the first time this season, as Scotland has started later into the season than other counties to allow for football’s postseason. So there were some cobwebs to shake off.
“We haven’t seen that kind of pressure and they’ve been doing it for five games. You can practice until you’re blue in the face but until you get that kind of team in a game that does that to you its hard to really be ready,” Malpass said.
Seventy-First used a full-court press for most of the game, forcing Scotland to turn the ball over 20 times. The Scots played a tight first quarter and only trailed by two points after the first eight minutes. However, the pressure eventually started to wear down the Scots.
“They influenced us from mid first quarter to end of game. It’s hard to play in a hole against that kind of team when they put pressure on you from buzzer to buzzer,” Malpass said.
“They liked to trap that first hand-off. Early in the games we turned the edge so quicked that they couldn’t trap us at all, but as we got tired and slower at execution they would trap on our second pass … so we played at a disadvantage all night. And credit to (Seventy-First,) they’re a good group,” he said.
Jordan Ratliffe led the Scots in with 14 total points. Travis Miles also reached double digits with 11 and Miguel McKeithan scored eight points.
Malpass said he will analyze the film from Tuesday’s game and decide what to focus on for the second game of the season against South View on Dec. 18.
“I’ll look at film and see how I can teach better. You have to go look at film objectively and come back and re-teach,” Malpass said.
Dane Davis scored 13 points for Seventy-First, including four three-point shots. Two other players scored in double figures: Chris Thomas had 11 and Cameron Banks had 10.
Janie Hodges made her first appearance as coach of the Scotland girls immediately before Malpass’ game. Her team kept it close for most of the game, but Seventy-First pulled away in the fourth quarter to get the 64-48 win. The visitors held a steady lead all night — four points after one quarter and six points after both the second and third quarter.
Scotland was out-scored 15-9 in the final quarter. Shamiyia Battle led all scores for Seventy-First with 20 points. Shauntrice Odum added 15, and Kelsey Bradley had 12.
Scotland’s leading scorer was Ashlyn Dial with 16 points, who Hodges said is one of the leaders of the team.
“She brings that strong will that we need,” Hodges said.
The Scots shot 37 percent from the field as a team and also rebounded well — nabbing 37. Destiny Campbell had 12 boards, while Khasiya Sellers had 10 of her own.
Hodges said it felt great to finally be on the court, but the youth of her team played a factor in the loss.
“We’re a young team, mostly freshmen and sophomores and that showed tonight. But coming in first game on the court I thought we did alright,” Hodges said.
Scotland turned the ball over 23 times, and ended up playing an up-temp, end-to-end game with Seventy-First, something that suited the visitors more than Scotland. Despite the loss, Hodges said she sees promise in the team.
“We’ve got to get in better and shape and just execute what we work on. We can’t let teams control us. We have to run our stuff and run it well. We’re young and we’re going to take some lumps, but if the girls keep pushing and play like we did today in the third quarter we’ll be successful down the road,” Hodges said.
JV girls handed defeat
Scotland’s junior varsity team was on the road at Seventy-First and lost 75-61. The leading scorer for the Scots was Eriel McDuffie with 20 points. Other top scorers were Makenna Burt with 18 and Breanna Terry with 10 points.