Moore Haven Middle School basketball rallies but falls short

Glades County Democrat/Richard Marion
Osceola defenders watch as the ball slips out of Moore Haven eighth-grader Ashard Harris’s hands during the first half of their game on Jan. 30. Osceola dominated the first half, but Moore Haven put together a string of great plays in the fourth quarter to bring the score closer.

The Moore Haven Middle School Terriers boys basketball team lost to the Osceola Middle School (OMS) Warriors 49-33 in their game on Jan. 29 at Osceola Middle.

The Warriors dominated the first half of the game, both offensively and defensively. Moore Haven only managed seven points in the first two quarters while Osceola was able to hang 28 points on the Terrier defense.

Osceola’s defense was aggressive and constantly disrupting the Terriers. Many times Moore Haven couldn’t even advance the ball past half-court before it was stolen and driven back to the Terrier goal to increase the OMS lead.

As the second half started, Moore Haven desperately needed to start protecting the ball on offense in order to give themselves the opportunity to hit their shots and mount a comeback.

And, to their credit, the Terriers came out more composed in third quarter. Their defense tightened up and their offense started to get down court and put multiple shots on the basket. For a few minutes, both team traded missed shots until the scoring drought was broken by OMS seventh-grader Jessy Arriaga, who was able to dodge Moore Haven defenders and glide to the basket for a graceful lay-up.

By the end of the third quarter the Terriers were able to take advantage of a few missed Warriors shots and slowly decrease their deficit as Osceola led 36-18.

Moore Haven’s defense came to life in the fourth quarter with Moore Haven eighth-grader Johhny Crawford Jr. having some great steals and quick scores that gave the Terriers some momentum.

But despite a Moore Haven rally in the final minutes, the Warriors were able to hold on to the lead and win the game 49-33. The loss brings the Terriers boys middle school basketball team’s record to 2-8.

Head coach Robert Wingate was happy to see his team working together more at the end of the game.

“We got out of the groove in the early going,” explained Wingate, “but we got back into it at the end. We stopped making mistakes and started playing together, which was nice. This is our last game of the season, and I’m gonna be sad to see the eighth-graders go. They’re some good kids.”

The Glades County Democrat is published every Thursday.

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