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franklin county times

Comfort zone

By Staff
Mike Self FCT Sports Editor
CHEROKEE - The Phil Campbell Bobcats are adjusting quite well to their new surroundings.
The Bobcats used a balanced scoring attack and aggressive defense to remain unbeaten in Class 2A, Area 16, with Tuesday's 64-35 rout of Cherokee.
Phil Campbell (3-1, 2-0) dropped down from Class 3A this season and already has picked up a pair of road wins in area play.
"Anytime you can win on the road, that's big," Bobcat coach Kelly Kiser said. "We're off to a good start, but there's a lot of basketball left to be played. We have to continue working to improve."
All 12 Phil Campbell players scored against Cherokee, led by Matthew Thomas with 10 points and Cody Garrison and Eric Glasgow with nine each.
"It's nice when everybody scores like that," Kiser said. "We got some good looks at the basket, but we have to do a better job taking care of the basketball. We had way too many turnovers. Part of that is because of Cherokee. They're a scrappy bunch. They'll get after you. But we have to take better care of the ball."
The Bobcats seized control of the game in the first half with a 20-1 run triggered by their pressure defense, which resulted in several deflections and steals.
"We've stressed being aggressive on defense," Kiser said. "We were pretty active tonight. I tell our guys that if we can hold our opponents to less than 60 points, we'll have a pretty good shot to win. If they start scoring up in the 60s, it's going to be harder for us to win the game."
The Indians (0-2) never even approached 60, enduring an 11-minute stretch during the first half without a field goal.
After Cherokee tied the game 8-8 midway through the first quarter, Garrison started Phil Campbell's big run with a layup. Glasgow followed with back-to-back layups, and Randy Cochran closed the quarter with a three-pointer to give the Bobcats a 17-9 lead.
Phil Campbell then scored the first 11 points of the second quarter, six of them by Garrison. Griffin Harris capped off the run with a steal and layup to make it 28-9 with 2:15 left in the first half.
Kyle Nix, Jerry Jenkins and Thomas each had four points as the Bobcats out-scored Cherokee 19-7 in the third quarter to take a 50-19 lead.
Harris finished with seven points, and Jenkins had six. Kyle Nelson, Kevin Lacey, Mark Wells and Nix each added four. Cochran had three points, and Chris Herring and Corey Odom each added two.
The Bobcats will look to improve to 3-0 in area play when they host Belgreen tonight. Phil Campbell defeated the Bulldogs 69-59 on November 19.
In other local action on Tuesday:
Waterloo 64 Vina 51
Ryan Umfress poured in a season-high 30 points, but it wasn't enough for the Red Devils.
Shannon Ozbirn added five points for Vina, and Blake Patterson and Anthony Hester each had four.
Jon Weston led Waterloo with 27 points.

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