Jackson beats Maplewood at Hoopfest

Sunday, December 20, 2009
Jackson's Kyle Keith, left, passes over Maplewood's Kevin Baker during Saturday's Heartland Hoopfest game in Perryville. (LAURA SIMON)

PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- The Maplewood Richmond Heights Blue Devils may be rebuilding after winning last year's Class 3A state championship, but the Jackson Indians are still looking at Saturday's 55-48 victory as a huge one.

"I think for our kids that's a nice win," Jackson coach Darrin Scott said.

The game was part of the sixth annual Heartland Hoopfest at the Perry Park Center.

Scott said that beating a defending state champion wasn't the only reason the win was a big morale booster for his squad, which improved to 4-2 going into next week's Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament.

"We played against the kind of team that's been our nightmare," said Scott, referring to the athletic Blue Devils, who pressured Jackson with a half-court trap defense the entire game.

Jackson handled the pressure well and picked up numerous fouls on repeated drives into the paint.

Six-foot-four junior Bobby Clark picked up 24 points for the Indians, with many coming from the charity stripe. As a team the Indians made 16 of 25 free throws.

Scott acknowledged that his team turned the ball over a lot in the paint, but said they're not as costly as ones in the backcourt that often end up as points for the opposition.

"If you become passive and don't attack the basket, then you lose whatever momentum you have," Scott said.

Scott also said that Clark responded to a challenge issued to him.

"We've been on him about playing strong with the ball," Scott said.

Defensively, Jackson's zone frustrated Maplewood the entire game. The Indians held 6-5 junior Calvin Belts and 6-6 senior Taylor Jordan to four points apiece, forcing the Devils to turn to second-team all-state guard Bryton Hobbs, who knocked down a team-high 13 points.

Clark's basket off an offensive rebound gave Jackson a five-point lead at halftime.

Maplewood tied the game at 29-29 in the third period, but two free throws from 6-8 sophomore John Meyer put the Indians up 31-29. A left-handed hook shot by Clark and an offensive rebound and score by Henrie Williams gave Jackson a five-point lead after three quarters.

A long 3-pointer by Taylor Williams just seconds into the fourth quarter gave Jackson a 38-30 lead, and the Indians were able to maintain a cushion the rest of the game.

Jackson is seeded third in the Christmas tournament and will meet Chaffee on Saturday in the first round.

Maplewood891318--48
Jackson8141320--55

MAPLEWOOD (48) -- Bryton Hobbs 13, Jake Hensel 4, Tony King 9, Kevin Baker 4, Calvin Belts 4, Kahlid Hagens 6, Aaron Collins 2, Taylor Jordan 4, Aaron Spudich 2. FG 18, FT 8-12, F 19. (3-pointers: Hobbs 3, King, Baker. Fouled out: none)

JACKSON (55) -- Caleb Newcomer 2 Taylor Williams 3, Kyle Keith 2, Zach McDowell 9, Eli Gohn 2, Henrie Williams 11, Bobby Clark 24, John Meyer 2. FG 18, FT 16-25, F 17. (3-pointers: Williams. Fouled out: none)

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