Tuesday’s tilt between the Northeast Eagles and West Creek Coyotes did not start with a tip-off.
Instead, the Coyotes got to take two technical free throws and inbound the ball at half court before a second even ticked off the clock after Northeast’s Isaiah Farrior dunked during warmups, which is not allowed by TSSAA rules.
West Creek’s Keith Pace sank one of two technical free throws, and it would be the only time the Coyotes led all game. Northeast eventually ran away with a 62-32 win.
“Our guys should know better,” said Eagles coach Samuel Young. “We go over that stuff with them. But it gave us energy to play. It gave us the juice to really get out here and be up and get after us. It really didn’t hurt us. It brought a lot of guys together and ready to play.”
Northeast came out with plenty of energy on their home court and kept it up until the end of the game. It led to crowd-popping dunks, in-your-face defense and momentous blocked shots the entire night, barely giving the Coyotes a moment to breathe.
Farrior went on to right his pregame wrong, leading the Eagles with 14 points, eight of which came in the Eagles’ 21-point third quarter to seal the victory.
Tuesday’s loss, along with a 30-point defeat at Clarksville before the holiday, showed that the Coyotes are a long way from being the team they know they could be.
“They were frustrated that they weren’t getting the results that they wanted on the floor, but in order to change that, you’ve got to come off the floor and be excited about the guys who (are) going to the floor and motivate him and be positive to him and give him information that he needs in order to be successful out there,” said West Creek coach Russell Malone.
“When things are going well, everybody’s playing for each other. But the test for a true championship team, when things are not going well, can you play for each other? We’re not there yet.”
Northeast returns to action on Friday at district-leader Clarksville. West Creek will host Kenwood on the same day.
Northeast (62): Isaiah Farrior 14, Marcus Averhart 12, Jalen Hooks 10, Keaton Allen 8, Josh Alexander 8, Marcus Williams 5, Jaylen Miller 4, Jalen Bussey 1.
West Creek (32): Keith Pace 12, Kamarie Coffey 11, Calvonta Shaw 4, Charles Dunson 2, Kayden Pace 2, Blake Westfall 1.