SAC Basketball: Catawba 71, Brevard 60

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 8, 2012

By Ronnie Gallagher
SALISBURY — As good as Catawba played in the first half, it played just as bad in the second.
But that early surge, led by Keon Moore, was enough to carry Jim Baker’s club past Brevard 71-60 Wednesday night and keep its hopes for making the SAC tournament alive.
Catawba (6-15, 3-10) needs to win two games in the next week against Tusculum and Mars Hill and if the Indians play like they did in the first half, they’re in. They led 43-22 at intermission.
“We played about as well as we can in the first half,” Baker said. “We passed and we rebounded well.”
And the Indians were smart enough to get the ball to Moore.
Catawba led 6-4 when it went on a 14-0 run, including eight by Moore. He hit two free throws, a fallaway, a dunk and a baseline jumper.
“He’s a really good player,” said Brevard coach Marc Prosser.
The last basket of the run was on a pretty drive and dunk by Kelvin Drakeford. Along with senior Justin Huntley, Drakeford gave Catawba a lift. They finished with a combined 17 points.
“They’ve got to bring energy and I thought they did,” Baker said.
By the end of the first half, fans were calling Moore “Keon Bryant” because he resembled the guy they call “Kobe.” He had 23 of his game-high 35 in the opening half.
But then the second half began.
“Human nature kicks in and you get a little lazy,” Baker shrugged. “We didn’t do all the little things we did in the first half.”
It began well enough with Tyrece Little’s pretty turnaround jumper. Huntley drilled a pull-up and when Moore fed Little for a lob, it was 54-28.
Just that quickly, Brevard (3-20, 2-11) cut the margin to 54-39, forcing Baker to call a timeout.
“We couldn’t get anything to go,” he said. “The ball was rolling around the basket. We started trying too hard and when you try too hard, you’re not going to make one.”
Prosser kept a small lineup in and eventually cut the lead to six. That meant only five minutes in the second half for former Carson star Darius Moose.
“Certainly he’s helped our team a lot this year,” Prosser said, “but that was the group that got us back in it and we were going to reward them.”
The win was a reward for Catawba.
“I was pleased we got a one,” Baker said. “We needed it.”
BREVARD (60) — Hendrix 19, Tanner 9, Moose 8, Pickett 7, Hopper 7, Gist 4, Vasiljevus 3, Felder 3.
CATAWBA (71) — Moore 35, Huntley 9, Drakeford 8, Little 8, Gilmore 5, Thomson 4, Watson 2.
Brevard 22 38 — 60
Catawba 43 28 — 71