Green Wave turns back rally by Chaffee boys basketball team

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Red Devils fell 67-57 in the first round of the Oran Invitational

ORAN, Mo. -- The Chaffee boys basketball team is inexperienced and was making its first Oran Invitational appearance.

Coach Josh Govreau thought that combination caused the Red Devils to play tight Tuesday night, especially in the first half.

Malden took advantage as the fifth-seeded Green Wave built a comfortable lead and held off several Chaffee rallies to win 67-57 in the final first-round game of the 57th annual tournament.

"We started off playing scared. It wasn't like anything I've seen the past month," said Govreau, whose squad is seeded fourth in the eight-team event. "It's our first time in this tournament and we've only got three guys with much varsity experience. It took us a while to settle down."

The Red Devils (1-1) opened their season in resounding fashion last week, crushing Meadow Heights 80-31.

But Malden, playing its season opener, was a definite step up in class for the Red Devils.

"I think we prepared well. I just think we came out a little flat," junior Charlie Montgomery said.

Added sophomore Peyton Montgomery, Charlie's younger brother: "I just think we weren't mentally focused. We played good in spurts. We just have to play more consistently."

It didn't help the Red Devils that they were way off with their shooting. Chaffee struggled from the outside against Malden's active zone and also missed plenty of point-blank opportunities.

"Our shots weren't falling," Peyton Montgomery said.

The Montgomery brothers, who along with junior Layton Tenkhoff represent the bulk of Chaffee's returning varsity experience, were the Red Devils' only consistent offensive threats Tuesday.

Peyton scored 19 points and Charlie added 18 points.

But Malden sophomore Cortez Dobbins bested that total by himself. He scored on a variety of drives and pull-up jumpers while hitting plenty of free throws.

The 6-foot-1 Dobbins poured in 41 points, 25 in the second half. He hit 9 of 10 foul shots in the fourth quarter and 13 of 15 from the line in the game.

"He's always been a good free-throw shooter," Malden coach Yevgeny Sokolov said.

There were three lead changes and five ties in the first quarter that ended with Malden scoring the final seven points for a 17-12 edge.

Chaffee's sputtering offense failed to take advantage of nine Malden turnovers in the opening period and the Red Devils missed six of their 10 free throws.

The Green Wave also finished the second quarter strong with an 8-1 run to lead 27-17 at the break as Chaffee scored just five points in the period.

"We kept playing hard but our shots wouldn't fall," Peyton Montgomery said.

Chaffee finally got its offense going some during a foul-filled second half that saw the Red Devils score 40 points. But Malden matched that total.

The Red Devils did make a few nice runs, capped by cutting a 17-point deficit early in the fourth quarter to just five points with plenty of time still remaining.

Chaffee, down 60-45, scored 10 straight points to make things interesting.

"I was praying and hoping," Charlie Montgomery said of a potential comeback.

Tenkhoff's follow shot with 2 minutes, 30 seconds left sliced Malden's lead to 60-55.

"We played better in the second half. We kept cutting into the lead," Govreau said. "I am proud we kept battling. Down 17, we could have given up."

The Red Devils got no closer as Malden hit enough free throws to hold on. The Green Wave was 14 of 21 from the line in the final period.

"I told them, 'Slow down'," Sokolov said of the message to his players during the fourth quarter that featured nine Malden turnovers. "They finally slowed it down. Luckily we hung on. The free-throw shooting was big."

Despite Chaffee's often ragged play, Govreau believes the Red Devils are capable of a third straight strong season.

Chaffee went 16-12 last year and 15-13 in 2010-11; the Red Devils previously had not posted a winning record in 31 years.

"We've got a lot of potential," said Govreau, whose squad has only two seniors. "We're not looking to take a step backwards even though we lost a lot of good seniors. These kids have won at every level they've been at."

Malden advances to play top-seeded Scott County Central, the four-time defending tournament and Class 1 state champion, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals.

Thursday's other semifinal pits second-seeded Oran against third-seeded Advance at 8 p.m.

Chaffee will face eighth-seeded Bell City at 5 p.m. Thursday in a consolation semifinal.

Sixth-seeded Kelly moved into Friday's consolation final by beating seventh-seeded Richland 59-45 Tuesday in a consolation semifinal.

The Hawks (1-1) bounced back from Monday's tough 11-point loss to Advance.

Malden 67, Chaffee 57

Malden17102218--67
Chaffee1251624--57

MALDEN (67) -- Malik Perkins 2, Dajuan Criglar 9, Kevin Farr 2, Gunner Jones 6, Jeremy Jones 4, Edwin Hale 1, Cortez Dobbins 41, Romello McCoy 2. FG 23, FT 20-32, F 23. (3-pointers: Criglar 1. Fouled out: Perkins, G. Jones, McCoy)

CHAFFEE (57) -- Peyton Montgomery 19, Cody Johnson 2, Layton Tenkhoff 7, Jimmy Golden 4, Tyler Golden 5, Charlie Montgomery 18, Trevor Morehead 2. FG 21, FT 15-25, F 24. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: C. Montgomery)

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