LAUREL HILL — There was no rest for the Laurel Hill boys basketball team on Friday night.
Less than 24 hours after beating Baker on Thursday, the Hoboes were back on the court against Rocky Bayou Christian as a part of the Homecoming doubleheader.
Maybe it was play two games in a short period of time, or maybe it was the distractions of Homecoming, but the Hoboes started slowly before getting going on the way to a 54-34 win
“I felt like we didn’t play very well,” Laurel Hill coach Kent Zessin said. “I felt like our minds were somewhere else. We did play a tough one last night coming off the Baker road trip.
“I think that might have had something to do with it – that and you throw in Homecoming and two plus two adds up on those guys. But they came out and they did what they had to to win.”
The Hoboes (2-2) received a big blow early when post player Lane Strickland was whistled for three fouls in the first two-and-a-half minutes of play.
Before Strickland was forced to the bench with his foul troubles he made his presence known with a nifty assist to Max Smith that gave the Hoboes a quick 2-0 lead.
A pair of free throws by Rocky’s Casey Ponder tied the game at 2-2. The teams traded baskets throughout the first quarter, but as the horn sounded to end the period Ponder hit a long 3-pointer to put the Knights in front 10-9.
Even without their big man, Strickland, on the floor, the Hoboes had plenty of weapons that could score. The two main weapons in Laurel Hill’s arsenal were brothers Tommy and Tamaria Calloway.
Tamaria and Smith each scored four points in the first quarter. But in the second quarter Tamaria would team with Tommy to give the Hoboes the boost they needed.
Thirteen seconds into the second quarter Tamaria scored a basket to put Laurel Hill in front 11-10. A short time later Tommy hit a 3-pointer to push the lead to 14-10.
All totaled the Calloways scored 11 of Laurel Hill’s 18 points in the second quarter.
But it wasn’t just the Calloway brothers pressuring the Knights. Garrett Alford, Tanner McQuaig and Matthew Lewellyn all scored in the second quarter as well forcing the Knights to guard everyone on the floor.
A Tamaria Calloway score late in the second quarter finished off a strong period for the Hoboes as they led 27-20 at the half.
Laurel Hill continued to play hard in the second half.
Back on the court to start the second half, Strickland scored two quick baskets to push the Laurel Hill lead to 31-20.
The Knights responded with a 3-pointer by Ponder and a score by Josh Preston to cut the Laurel Hill lead to 31-25 before the Hoboes started to pull away to the 20-point win.
Tommy Calloway led the Hoboes with 15 points. Tamaria Calloway and Smith each had 10 points. Strickland scored eight points despite missing most of the first half with foul trouble.
Zessin was happy with happy to escape with the win, but he saw plenty of room for improvement.
“They didn’t shoot the ball tremendously well at all,” he said. “I think that may have to do with the fatigue in the legs. And Lane getting in foul trouble early again didn’t help any.
“We’ve just got to go back to work at practice before we play our next game on Friday. We need some gym time right now. We need to get in here four days and get some shooting time in and that will help us out a bunch.”
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524