The PCS Lady Bobcats were able to jump in the driver’s seat early in their 56-18 win over Oak Forest Academy Friday night.
“My favorite thing [from the game] was selflessness,” PCS coach Matthew Lofton said. “I thought the basketball [was] just moving and it found people who, instead of taking good shots, took great shots. I thought we did a great job of handling [Oak Forest’s] pressure. They do a great job of doing the full court. They are very well coached. So every time they came at us with the pressure we had a response for it.”
The PCS girls jumped out to a quick start as they led Oak Forrest early 7-3. PCS broke the game open with a 21-0 run that carried over into the second quarter and put them in the driver’s seat for the rest of the night.
The senior trio of Gabby Gallup, Jillian Rhian and Mary Moore Widemire guided the Bobcats past the Yellowjacket defense and full court presses. The seniors combined for 36 points with Gallup scoring 21 points and scoring her 1000th career point.
“[The seniors] are awesome and they’re good basketball players, but so much more than that, they are great leaders,” Lofton said. “They love those girls, they serve those girls, they lead those girls and so basically everybody is feeding off of them. We talked about it earlier. When a coach leads the team, we can be good, but when players lead the team, we can be great. I think that’s what they are doing right now.”
The Lady Bobcats improve to 9-10 and 1-1 in league play. Despite the losing record, Lofton is by no means deterred. He purposely scheduled a tough non-district schedule with the hopes of challenging and bringing out the best in his team through conference play.
“I purposely made [the schedule] difficult because I didn’t really care what our non-district record was,” he said. “I wanted to be ready for conference play and I think you saw that tonight. Every conference opponent is tough for us and there were some very specific things that we wanted to get accomplished tonight. Obviously, we wanted to win the game, but there were some things that we needed to do to grow and to be the team that we needed to be. I thought we really shared the basketball.”
Bobcats 60, Oak Forest 26
Much like the girls, PCS’s boy basketball got out to a fast start against Oak Forest in the 60-26 win.
The Bobcats jumped out to a 16-0 lead and closed the first quarter with a 19-3 lead. Key to PCS’ early success was the ability to shoot from the 3-point line, hitting eight in the first half.
“Obviously, it helped to get off to a good start,” PCS coach Josh Dorman said. “We were really good defensively in the first quarter. That’s a good way to set a tone. We felt like we had some advantages in some places where we took advantage of and it doesn’t hurt to shoot the ball pretty good either.”
The Bobcats were able to move the ball efficiently forcing holes in the Yellowjacket defense, which allowed for the early 3-point shots. The script changed in the second half as Oak Forest attempted to protect the outside shots and gave PCS easy opportunities to score inside the paint. Senior Markevion Harrell was able to exploit it and he led the team with 16 points on the night.
“We knew they were going to zone us, and we figured that Jeremiah [Montgomery] in the post would get a lot of doubles or triples,” Dorman said. “We love inside out, kick three balls so that was certainly part of it. We certainly wanted to attack it in the paint as well.”
Like the girls, PCS was able to cruise with the win taking a 33-11 lead at halftime, and it only gave up 13 points in the second half to Oak Forest.
“Our transition game was pretty good. Our guys were good at getting out in the open floor creating for themselves and others,” Dorman said. “When things are going well, it’s fun. So tonight, all of our guys did well and competed hard and played the right way.”
The Bobcats improve to 11-7 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Both teams will go on the road and travel to play Parklane Academy on Tuesday, Jan. 15.