Gators struggle, find a way to still knock off the Eagles

The offense for Spring Creek struggled in many ways, but the Gators were still able to hold off Rosewood after a big-time eight-minute run that stretched the lead from four points to 18 in the second half and helped them to a 54-43 road win.

Spring Creek men’s basketball team struggled on the offensive side of the court early in their game on Tuesday against Rosewood. The Gators, however, are well balanced, so their defense was able to lead the charge in the first half. Senior guard Demartae Bizzell was credited with four steals on the night that helped crank up momentum until the shots were able to fall.  

Coach Taylor Jones was proud of the way his guys responded when the shots weren’t dropping. “The toughest part was we just wanted to get shots to fall. ‘Defense travels’ is what we tell the guys. We’re not always gonna shoot the best, and it’s frustrating, but our guys kept moving on and playing hard.”

Seniors Landon Smothers and Domonique Morse were pressured all night by the Rosewood defenders, but they remained focused and unfazed. The pair combined for 21 points on the night. Junior Tyrese Artis had 20 points on the night, ten of those points during the 18-point run the Gators had in the second half. Bizzell also had a big game with 13 points that went along with his four steals. 

The bench has been a bright spot for the Gators most of this season, and at Rosewood the story was no different. “We have a solid eight-man bench. We’re pleased that we have gotten more help from guys we didn’t expect, and we’re getting guys more minutes than we also thought.” Having that bench depth took the pressure off of the starters, and raised their confidence level because they could trust their teammates. 

One of the biggest takeaways from that night for Coach Jones was how his guys had that confidence in each other. “Our guys continued to be great teammates. We never ‘fractured’ last night at times where it could’ve been easy and we didn’t get down on each other,” said Jones. 

Spring Creek has now won five games in a row, and the Gators couldn’t be more excited about where they are. “Overall, we’re really happy. If you would’ve told us that we’d be 6-1 at this point, I’d think you were crazy. We felt like during the summer we might be better off than what we thought, but our guys got better and they put in the work. We’ll take 6-1 any day of the week. The brunt of our schedule is coming up, but we’ve gotta win the games on our schedule and we’ve done that,” said Coach Jones. 

The Gators will be playing in the FCA Christmas Tournament at the University of Mount Olive beginning on Wednesday, December 26th at 2:30 as they play Wayne Christian.

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