Jackson's dominance on boards buries Central

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Indians enjoyed a 44-10 advantage in rebounds against the Tigers on Tuesday.

SIKESTON, Mo. -- Jackson's Hunter Grantham said his team focused a great deal on rebounding in practice after it escaped with a four-point overtime victory against Central last Friday night.

"We had a good, hard Sunday practice and came out Monday and practiced real hard and emphasized a lot on rebounding," Grantham said. "And it showed tonight."

The Indians' ability to play physical inside and collect rebounds on both offense and defense showed Tuesday.

The Indians outrebounded the Tigers 44-10 en route to a 58-38 victory at the second annual SEMO Conference basketball tournament at Sikeston High School.

Jackson improved to 3-0, while the Tigers dropped to 3-2.

The 6-foot-5 Grantham was just one of the many Indians who had a good day rebounding as he collected 10.

Jackson's 6-6 senior Spencer Goodman and 6-6 senior Antonio Garritano also played physical near the basket.

"Our big guys worked hard tonight," said Jackson guard Matt Lang, who added five rebounds. "That's what we're supposed to do when we've got 6-5, 6-6 guys. We're going to try to take advantage of that as much as we can and that's what we did tonight."

The Indians also played strong defensively, pressuring the Central offense from the opening tip by using a full-court man-to-man defense.

Lang was given the call to defend Central's top offensive threat, Jajuan Bell, who poured in 29 points against the Indians last Friday.

"We knew Jajuan Bell is a great player and we had to shut him down early," Goodman said. "We all knew we had to help Matt cover Jajuan. That was pretty much the main key to the game."

The Indians' defense executed its plan of containing Bell, as the senior guard went into halftime with only four points.

Bell scored 11 points in the game, leading all Central scorers.

The Indians outscored the Tigers 16-6 in the first quarter. They went into halftime with a commanding 30-17 lead.

The Indians did not allow the Tigers an opportunity to work their way back into the contest, going on a 10-0 run to start the third.

The Tigers didn't score in the second half until Bell hit a layup with 3:35 left in the third quarter.

Jake Leet led Jackson with a game-high 16 points.

Grantham added 11 and Goodman netted nine.

"We didn't play as hard as we did on Friday and Jackson came with a little more intensity and a little better game plan," Central coach Drew Church said. "They are hard to guard and they made shots."


Central (38) -- Jajuan Bell, 11, Anthony Watts 4, Shane Nolen 9, Landon Ewers, 2, Cantrell Andrews 2, Drew Gardner, 3, Chase Johnson 4, Rick Russell, 2, Josh Harris, 1. FG: 16-36. FT: 6-17. F: 13. (3-pointers: None) Fouled out: none

Jackson (58) -- Caleb Guilliams, 3, Spencer Goodman, 9, Matt Lang, 8, Jake Leet, 16, Aaron Floyd, 4, Hunter Grantham, 11, Antonio Garritano, 7. FG: 24-51. FT: 6-13. F: 19. (3-pointers Guilliams, 1, Spencer, 1, Leet 2.) Fouled out: none.

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