MINT HILL, NC – The Independence men’s basketball team defeated the visiting Cardinals from Columbia, South Carolina in the Holiday Border Classic to advance in the tournament.
This game was one of the better defensive efforts made this season by the Patriots. Indy switched from zone to man-to-man, and back to zone to keep the Cardinals off balance. Also, they played aggressively in the backcourt applying pressure, forcing multiple key turnovers and converted these opportunities into points in transition.
Offensively, Senior Dyshawn Taylor had a solid night scoring 19 points to lead the home team to a well deserved victory. While 6’7″ Jared Taylor came off the bench with Ralph Johnson not being able to suit-up, and he made his presence known. He contributed 6 points, hauled down 5 rebounds including 3 clean blocks soundly rejecting Cardinal shots with 1 deflection. Having a big man his size under the boards willing to mix it up, although raw with more work to be done, certainly paid off for the Patriots and he played a critical role making a significant contribution.
In the opening period Indy took a 12-7 lead primarily on the scoring of Dyshawn Taylor who drilled a 3-pointer and nailed a pretty jump shot just inside the perimeter. While teammates Tosh Alberga added 3 points, Jordan Appling, and Amory Brown contributed two points each to roundoff the scoring.
In the second period the Cardinals became very efficient from the 3-point range. They landed a total of five 3-pointers for a total of 15 of their 20 points scored in the period to take a 27-25 first half lead at the intermission. Meanwhile, Taylor added another 3-point jumper, and a layup, with Jordan Appling scoring 8 of his 10 game points in the period to keep the game close. Appling drilled two 3-pointers of his own to counter the long range attack by the Cardinals.
In the second half the two teams battled defensively, this game was well played and clean, but there was certainly contact and it was physical on both sides of the ball. The clubs exchanged baskets in the third period with the Patriots coming out on top to regain a slim lead margin 37-35 by outscoring their opponent 12-8. This is when Jared Taylor shined scoring 4 points, blocking two shots, and grabbing 2 huge rebounds.
In the final period, defense was dominate again with the Patriots outscoring the Cardinals 10-5. Dyshawn Taylor game up big for Indy scoring his third 3-point shot of the contest, a nice jumper, including a layup on a fast break during transition after obtaining his sixth steal of the game. Talk about having a nose for the basketball ball and being a ball hawk.
The Patriots are now 4-4 on the season, and they are beginning to play some of their best basketball to date. Taylor had 19 points, Appling 10, Jared Taylor 6, Alberga 5 to lead Indy on offense. The Patriots will play East Rutherford, Forest City, North Carolina next on Tuesday, 12/28 at a neutral court location.