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No. 5 Hoover shakes slow start to down Morse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHMo8PKQ7kE

SAN DIEGO – For a young Hoover team, managing emotion has been a battle throughout the season. On Thursday night against Morse, the fifth-ranked Cardinals kept their emotions in check by shrugging off a slow start in a 55-41 victory that clinched a share of the Eastern League title.

“We came together as a team and that’s what I liked about that win,” said Hoover head coach Ollie Goulston. “We didn’t play our best basketball tonight and still managed to find a way to win.”

Morse played faster than Hoover in the first half and had a 24-19 lead at halftime. The Cardinals struggled to find good scoring opportunities against the Tigers’ zone defense in the first two quarters, scoring only eight points in the second quarter.

“I didn’t think we were playing that hard in the first half,” Goulston said. “Everyone was kind of standing around watching Angelo (Chol) do his thing and other guys weren’t really stepping up.”

Midway through the third quarter, Hoover (20-7, 8-0 Eastern) turned up its pressure to erase five-point deficit. The Cardinals closed the quarter on a 12-2 run – including a four-minute stretch where they held Morse scoreless – to take a 37-32 lead into the fourth quarter.

“We made some subtle changes defensively that really helped us with our pressure,” Goulston said. “Once we made those adjustments, things went better for us.”

Hoover kept up its intensity in the fourth quarter, limiting Morse (16-10, 5-3) to two points through the first four minutes. The Tigers didn’t get closer than nine points in the final minutes as Chol punctuated the 14-point win with a pair of crowd-pleasing dunks.

“We just came together,” Chol said. “Coach said come together and we did that, played good defense and got them to turn the ball over.”

Honored before the game as part of senior night, Chol finished with 17 points. The senior center was also at the middle of Hoover’s defense that held Morse to 17 points in the second half.

“Angelo is not naturally a leader; he’s not a vocal guy,” Goulston said. “He did it with his emotion and his play tonight – stepping up defensively and with a couple of big dunks.”

Guard Chris Jones led Hoover with a game-high 24 points, including 13 in the third quarter. The Cardinals have won 21 straight Eastern League games dating back to the 2008-09 season and can clinch the outright league title with a win in one of their two games next week.

“It means a lot,” Goulston said. “It’s another milestone that we can put in our rear-view mirror as we work towards other things.”

Deonte Flowers scored 21 points to lead Morse. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Tigers.

Hoover – 55 (11-8-18-18)

Jones 24, Chol 17, Northard 9, Cain 5, Booker 0 (starters)

Morse – 41 (10-14-8-9)

Flowers 21, Simmons 6, Hood 5, Tucker 0, Turner 0 (starters) Wilson 4, Phillips 3, Tocol 2

Image

Hoover guard Jeremai Northard goes up for a shot against Morse forward Jeremiah Turner

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHMo8PKQ7kE

SAN DIEGO – For a young Hoover team, managing emotion has been a battle throughout the season. On Thursday night against Morse, the fifth-ranked Cardinals kept their emotions in check by shrugging off a slow start in a 55-41 victory that clinched a share of the Eastern League title.

“We came together as a team and that’s what I liked about that win,” said Hoover head coach Ollie Goulston. “We didn’t play our best basketball tonight and still managed to find a way to win.”

Morse played faster than Hoover in the first half and had a 24-19 lead at halftime. The Cardinals struggled to find good scoring opportunities against the Tigers’ zone defense in the first two quarters, scoring only eight points in the second quarter.

“I didn’t think we were playing that hard in the first half,” Goulston said. “Everyone was kind of standing around watching Angelo (Chol) do his thing and other guys weren’t really stepping up.”

Midway through the third quarter, Hoover (20-7, 8-0 Eastern) turned up its pressure to erase five-point deficit. The Cardinals closed the quarter on a 12-2 run – including a four-minute stretch where they held Morse scoreless – to take a 37-32 lead into the fourth quarter.

“We made some subtle changes defensively that really helped us with our pressure,” Goulston said. “Once we made those adjustments, things went better for us.”

Hoover kept up its intensity in the fourth quarter, limiting Morse (16-10, 5-3) to two points through the first four minutes. The Tigers didn’t get closer than nine points in the final minutes as Chol punctuated the 14-point win with a pair of crowd-pleasing dunks.

“We just came together,” Chol said. “Coach said come together and we did that, played good defense and got them to turn the ball over.”

Honored before the game as part of senior night, Chol finished with 17 points. The senior center was also at the middle of Hoover’s defense that held Morse to 17 points in the second half.

“Angelo is not naturally a leader; he’s not a vocal guy,” Goulston said. “He did it with his emotion and his play tonight – stepping up defensively and with a couple of big dunks.”

Guard Chris Jones led Hoover with a game-high 24 points, including 13 in the third quarter. The Cardinals have won 21 straight Eastern League games dating back to the 2008-09 season and can clinch the outright league title with a win in one of their two games next week.

“It means a lot,” Goulston said. “It’s another milestone that we can put in our rear-view mirror as we work towards other things.”

Deonte Flowers scored 21 points to lead Morse. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Tigers.

Hoover – 55 (11-8-18-18)

Jones 24, Chol 17, Northard 9, Cain 5, Booker 0 (starters)

Morse – 41 (10-14-8-9)

Flowers 21, Simmons 6, Hood 5, Tucker 0, Turner 0 (starters) Wilson 4, Phillips 3, Tocol 2

Image

Hoover guard Jeremai Northard goes up for a shot against Morse forward Jeremiah Turner

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