Jeff Cali Sports Editor email@example.com
Calvin — The Roff girls and boys basketball teams used stellar defensive efforts to sweep to a pair of Pontotoc Conference Tournament championships Saturday night in Calvin.
After Allen had trimmed a 14-point Roff lead to seven with 4:14 to play, the Lady Mustangs never scored again in the Lady Tigers’ 48-33 win.
In the boys’ game, No. 2 seed Asher kept pace with top seed Roff during the first half, but the Tigers outscored the Indians 29-14 over the final to frames to pull away for a 51-31 win.
Roff historian Bubba Tidwell said he doesn’t think Roff has ever won both Pontotoc Conference Tournament championships in the same year.
“I don’t know that they ever have,” Tidwell said when asked about the possibility. “I know that they haven’t since 1994, but I doubt it’s ever happened.”
Roff 48, Allen 33
After Allen senior Sandra Howshar scored on a nice spin move near the basket midway through the fourth quarter, the Lady Mustangs went 0-for-4 with four turnovers the rest of the way. Roff would force 21 Allen turnovers in the contest.
“Our defense was exceptional. We played man defense the whole game and never got out of it,” Roff girls coach Blake Crawford said. “We did everything we talked about doing defensively.”
Roff outscored Allen 14-7 in the second quarter and led 28-20 at halftime. RHS post player Breecia Crawford scored 10 of her game-high 18 points during that run.
Lauren Trimmer, who finished with 10 points, hit a jumper and Crawford followed with a free throw at the 1:56 mark of the third quarter to extend the Roff lead to 38-24.
Howshar capped a 9-2 Allen surge that got the Lady Mustangs within striking distance, but the rally stopped there.
“We scored transition buckets, we hit shots, we ran through our sets well. We played well,” Crawford said.
Miranda Raney scored eight points to lead the Lady Mustangs. Charlea Leonard, who had scored 40 points during Allen’s first two tournament games, was limited to five points. She had just one field goal over the final three quarters.
Crawford credited Roff senior Tori Brown for her defensive effort on Leonard off the bench.
“Tori Brown shut down their scorer. (Leonard) didn’t get anything after that. She played really well,” he said.
Roff, in the midst of a five-game winning streak, improved to 8-2 on the year heading in a regular season rematch with Allen tonight. The Lady Mustangs lost for the first time, falling to 4-1.
“It was a great win. This one was special. This was one of our goals,” Crawford said.
Roff 51, Asher 31
Roff led 18-10 after a basket by Zach Lewis at the 5:44 mark of the second quarter. Asher responded with six straight points — a free throw by Tanner Andrews, a 3-pointer by Caleb Dubler and a putback by Tim Johnson — to get within 18-16 with 3:10 left before halftime.
Dubler’s basket was a rare 3-pointer for the Indians. He hit the only triple in 13 tries before halftime and Asher finished the game 2-of-24 from long range.
The Tigers, ranked No. 17 in Class A, led 22-17 at halftime. But Roff used a 13-3 surge to start the third quarter and after a 3-pointer from Hunter Larsh and a basket by Mike Anderson, had extended its lead to 35-20.
Roff put the game well out of reach by scoring the first 12 points of the fourth quarter to go on top 49-25 with 3:55 left in the game.
“I thought defensively we were really good. I thought when we went to our zone, it gave them trouble. We’re so long. It’s something we’ve kind of been toying with. It looked good tonight,” Roff head coach Bo Thomason said.
Asher shot an ice cold 11-of-54 from the field (20.4 percent) and also missed 10 free throws.
“I was proud of them,” Thomason said. “That’s first time they’ve come out and stayed intense for four quarters this year.”
Lewis scored 13 points to go with 12 rebounds and four steals to pace the Tiger attack. C.J. Johnson added 10 points off the bench. Three other RHS players scored eight points each — Lonnie Petersen, Dalton Madden and Larsh.
Johnson and Dubler combined for 20 of Asher’s 31 points with 10 apiece. Johnson added eight rebounds and three steals.
After missing 23 free throws during a semifinal win over Allen, Roff finished 4-of-11 from the stripe on Saturday.
“Obviously we didn’t shoot as many, but free throws weren’t quite as bad. The only reason we didn’t miss 23 is we didn’t shoot 36,” Thomason said.
Cade Carpenter, a 6-4 senior, is expected to return to action after Christmas break after nursing an injury during the first weeks of the 2013-14 season. Carpenter averaged 10 points and eight rebounds for the Tigers last year as a junior.
“This is extremely nice going into Christmas. And getting Cade back makes us pretty scary,” Thomason said.