Tigers fall to South Point in opener

by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com

KINNIKINNICK — A strong effort from the field aided by several Circleville turnovers lifted South Point to a 74-43 win over Circleville Wednesday.

Playing in the Zane Trace Tipoff Classic, the Tigers had six turnovers early to fall behind 12-4 before the period ended with a 14-8 South Point advantage. 

The Pointers hit six of their first eight shots from the field in the second quarter on the way to a 30-12 advantage and had the lead at 39-12 by halftime. 

“We knew the type of team South Point was. We had scouted them and knew how they played, their style of play is the style of play we want to play,” Circleville coach Cody Carpenter said. “We knew we had to have a quick start and be aggressive, unfortunately it kind of backfired. We missed a few shots early, they made a few shots early and that kind of took us out of the game, I don’t know for what reason. There were so many moments where we kind of quit playing and it was very uncharacteristic of this group.”

The Tigers cut down on their turnovers in the second half, but South Point continued to perform on the offensive end. While the Pointers were 9-16 from the field in the third quarter, five offensive rebounds helped them extend the lead to 60-33 entering the final period. 

“Unfortunately, we’re in the situation right now where when the shots are going in, everything is working,” Carpenter said.  “Unfortunately, tonight our shots weren’t falling, and, for some reason, we weren’t playing the defense we felt we should. 

“The style of play we want to play, we’re going to have turnovers. But the way we reacted to those turnovers and the lack of effort after the turnovers, that told the tale.”

Circleville’s Briley Cramer looks to score against South Point’s Caleb Lovely. (see more game photos)

South Point’s Caleb Lovely led all scorers with 19 points and Jordan Ermalovich had 12.

Joe Wray led the Tigers with 12 points while Preston Hulse had eight and Ian Warden had seven.

South Point ended the night with a 35-19 rebounding edge led by Xander Dornon who had nine. Hulse led Circleville with five. 

With a lot of basketball still to come, Carpenter said he talked with the team about coming back from this opening loss. 

“That’s why it took us so long to get out of (the locker room). We were talking that half the state of basketball starts out either 1-0 or 0-1, so we’re not the only team that is 0-1,” he said. “We felt like South Point was going to be one of the best teams we were going to play this year. It exposed some things that we see very quickly that we have to work on. 

“Nobody wants to lose, but it is a really good teachable moment that if we want to compete at a high level against some of the top teams in our league, we can’t perform the way we performed.”

Circleville is back in action Thursday at Adena.

South Point 74, Circleville 43

South Point — Caleb Lovely 8-2-19, Elijah Wilburn 1-0-2, Javon Ferrell 2-2-6, Xathan Haney 3-1-8, DeShaun Garred 1-0-2, Jaxon Vance 3-0-6, Jordan Ermalovich 5-0-12, Brayden Hanshaw 2-0-4, Xander Dornon 3-0-7, Jackson Childers 2-3-8. Three-point goals — Lovely, Haney, Ermalovich (2), Dornon, Ja. Childers. Total — 30-53 8-12 74.

Circleville — Preston Hulse 3-1-8, Nolan West 1-3-5, Briley Cramer 2-1-5, Joe Wray 4-4-12, Parker Kidwell 1-0-2, Ian Warden 3-1-7, Slater Search 1-0-2, Ed Kirk 1-0-2. Three-point goals — Hulse. Total — 16-41 10-15 43.

Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F

South Point  14     24     22     14     74

Circleville   8       11     14     10     43

Preston Hulse had eight points for Circleville. (see more game photos)

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