Strong second half powers Cougars
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
After a first half to forget, the Lafayette Christian School Cougars came to life in the final two quarters to secure a 39-30 home win over Rock Springs Christian Academy on Thursday night.
Clinging to an 11-9 lead at the half, Lafayette Christian outscored Rock Springs 17-5 in the third quarter to take control, and it held a double-digit lead for most of the fourth quarter.
“We played them a couple of weeks ago and beat them pretty bad,” said Lafayette Christian head coach David Gisler. “Sometimes kids think they don’t have to play hard, they don’t have to earn it.”
During the 10-minute halftime break, Gisler made sure to let the players know they needed to step things up in the third quarter.
“The message at halftime was very simple,” Gisler said. “We’re sleep-walking out there, and we need to put some effort into our defense. Defense fixes the offensive problems a lot of the times, and it did.”
Early in the third quarter, Rock Springs appeared to have the momentum after taking a 14-11 lead, but Grant Gedney made a 3-pointer to start a 17-1 run for the home team.
By the time the third quarter came to a close, the Cougars had a 28-17 lead.
Lafayette Christian maintained a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter, with Rock Springs making a basket in the closing moments to make it a nine-point margin of victory for the home team.
AJ Parks led the Cougars with 13 points, and he had seven points during the decisive third quarter.
Connor Gisler and Adam Saylor added nine points apiece, and Gedney scored six points on a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter.
Ben Dixon and Kamal Parham only combined to score two points, but Gisler appreciates the effort they give off the bench.
Dixon and Parham were standout players on the football team that won a state championship.
“(Parham) and Ben Dixon, they’re football players, and I use them to bring that energy and that intensity to the team,” Gisler said.
While the Cougars are 7-4 overall, they’re 0-3 in the region, and they’ll have a chance to make up some ground in the region next week with three games.
“It’s a very tough region, and we’ve played the three best teams,” Gisler said. “We’ve got three region games next week, so we’ll have a better feel for where we stand.”