By Chris McCarthy/Editor
Etowah’s running and gunning proved too much for Glencoe on Tuesday (Dec. 17).
Fueled by a fast-break offense that scored many of its points in transition and a full-court pressure defense that created numerous turnovers, the Blue Devils (9-1) extended their winning streak to nine games with a 65-40 victory at GHS.
Twelve players scored for the visitors, who were led by Jordan Powell with 12 points and Jalen Williams with 10.
“We pressure the ball and get after it on defense,” said Etowah head coach James Graves. “We struggled a little early on, but then we got some points off turnovers and played better in the second quarter. They were moving the ball around out of our traps, so we made a few adjustments at halftime and made it tough on them to score in the third quarter.”
Glencoe was in the free throw shooting bonus at the start of the second and third quarters, a situation that Graves attributed to his team’s attacking style of defense.
“We want to be aggressive, so we get some fouls, but we try not to get our fouls 94 feet from the basket. Those types of fouls are unacceptable.”
Leondre Robinson added nine points for Etowah, followed by Andreas Walker and Devin Horton with seven each.
Dominic Avery had five steals, while Jay Aaron had five rebounds.
The lead changed seven times in a back-and-fourth first quarter. Glencoe’s Dylan Stone scored seven of his team-high 14 points during that span, with his basket at 3:10 providing the hosts with an 11-8 advantage.
That turned out to be the high-water mark for the Jackets, as Etowah closed out the period with a 10-0 run.
The Blue Devils’ scoring stretch continued into the second frame. Walker’s three-pointer at 4:47 made it 29-13, while Robinson’s foul shot with 14 seconds left in the first half pushed the Etowah lead to 38-18.
The Yellow Jackets had 23 turnovers in the first half and 30 for the game.
“They say that you can’t win [a game] in the first half, but you can lose one, and that was the case for us tonight,” said Glencoe head coach Tommy Stanley. “We’re not going to beat too many teams when we have that many [turnovers]. Coach Graves does a super job with the way that they press, and they hit their free throws. That’s not a good combination for a team as young as we are. I think that what Coach Graves does helped us, so tonight was a learning experience and hopefully it will make us better in the long run. But we are 3-0 in the area, and we can’t lose sight of that.”
Glencoe’s lone field goal in the third quarter came on Garrison Clowdus’ 3-point basket at 4:45.
Meanwhile, six straight points from Powell helped the Blue Devils take a 51-25 lead at the start of the fourth period, and the Yellow Jackets did not get within 22 points the rest of the way.
Jeffrey Ford had seven points and eight rebounds for Glencoe.
“I love this group of kids,” said Graves. “It’s fun to coach them because they just go out and play so hard. I just hope we continue to grow and get better as a team.”