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Knights slay Tigers at buzzer

Friday, December 14, 2007

Farmington boys escape with a 43-42 victory against Central.

The Cape Girardeau Central High School boys basketball team saw its losing streak reach four.

But none of the defeats during that stretch was tougher to take than Thursday night's 43-42 setback to Farmington in the Tigers' home opener.

Undermanned Central gave second-year coach Drew Church the type of all-out effort he looks for.

The Tigers spent major parts of the contest diving on the floor for loose balls and taking charges, while displaying plenty of hustle and energy the entire way.

But a tough shot from just inside the free-throw line by Farmington junior Lance Miller at the buzzer sent the Tigers from elation to deflation.

"We wanted to make them take a bad shot and we did that," said Church, whose squad fell to 3-5. "You give them that shot. ... I don't know how many times it goes in.

"But I'm super proud of the effort. We are playing hard, that's the thing. We're going to have to play hard, diving on the floor, whatever it takes to win."

The Tigers played their third straight game without standout senior guard Jajuan Bell, who averaged more than 25 points through Central's first five contests.

Church said Bell remains suspended indefinitely for breaking "team rules."

Helping pick up the offensive slack against Farmington were senior guards Shane Nolen (13 points), Anthony Watts (12) and Chase Johnson (11).

Nolen scored 10 first-half points, while Watts had eight second-half points.

"They both played well," Church said.

Central started fast, building an 18-7 lead after one quarter. The Tigers went ahead 21-7 early in the second period and carried a 28-16 edge into the break.

Farmington (1-4) got back in the game by scoring the first 10 points of the third quarter and things remained tight thereafter.

Central led 33-28 after three periods, but Farmington went ahead for the first time midway through the final quarter.

The squads exchanged leads before Central went back up 42-41 on two Watts free throws with 33 seconds left.

Farmington used the rest of the clock, and for a while it appeared as if the Knights would not even get a shot off.

But Miller finally knifed into the lane and nailed a contested mid-range jumper as the buzzer sounded. Miller led the Knights with 14 points.

"He hit a tough shot," said Farmington assistant coach Brett Hale, a former Southeast Missouri State guard. "We've been in every game. It's nice to finally win one."

And not so nice for the Tigers, but Church remains positive about his team.

"Because they're giving it their all and doing the right things, success will find you at some point," Church said.


Farmington (43) -- Parks Peterson 9, Patrick Wulfers 1, Derek Franklin 3, Taylor Denman 9, Nick Baker 7, Lance Miller 14. FG 18, FT 2-6, F 17 (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: Franklin 1, Denman 3, Baker 1)

Central (42) -- Anthony Watts 12, Chase Johnson 11, Shane Nolen 13, Zach Boerboom 4, Garrett Pannier 2. FG 15, FT 11-17, F 8 (3-pointers: Watts 1. Fouled out: none)

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if church wasnt a *** central would have a better team but know they dont even have there best shooter anymore

-- Posted by CapeTiger4 on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 12:30 AM

You seem to be in the know. What happened with Bell? What rules did he break?

-- Posted by teacher_guy11 on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 7:46 AM

Well if you break team rules then you dont deserve to play. He had a bad attitude and was being an individual. I respect Coach Church and I would have done the same thing to that kid. You are either in or your out. There is no in between. Who cares if it is the best shooter. Maybe he will change his attitude.

-- Posted by HeHateMeToo on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 8:06 AM

Coach Church is the man! One big difference between him and other coaches is that he is willing to stand behind the rules he makes for his team. Most coaches look the other way when their best player breaks a team rule; that's not the case at Cape Central anymore. It's called integrity and it would be nice if a few more coaches across Southeast Missouri had some.

-- Posted by ink_pen on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 9:52 AM

ink_pen...did your kid play second string to a starter of a local team or....

-- Posted by rnc119 on Sat, Dec 15, 2007, at 1:26 AM

First I want to say, Coach Church, I too admire you for sticking to your guns. There aren't many coaches that do that at all! It is too easy to look the other way.

rnc119 - It's too bad that you think people might make that comment because their child was a second stringer. My child wasn't and I wish so many coaches would be stronger individuals instead of those that make excuses or exceptions. They are everywhere, just look around you.

-- Posted by soccergirl on Sat, Dec 15, 2007, at 8:03 AM

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