Emerald's Mil Hackett, left, attempts to drive past Calhoun Falls' Tevin Richardson during Friday night's game.
(Shawn M. Knox | Special to the index-journal)
The Calhoun Falls Charter School boys basketball team spent most of the first half of Friday night's game against Emerald digging its way out of an early 19-5 hole.
A spirited rally got them back to within five points with a minute to play until halftime.
Then, the Emerald defense switched to a look that helped the Vikings find their groove and motor away.
Emerald changed from a zone defense to a man-to-man look late in the half, and the result was an 8-0 spurt in the final two minutes of the second quarter that gave Emerald the momentum to cruise to an 89-75 victory and a berth in the Index-Journal Emerald City Classic championship game tonight against Greenwood.
"The game kind of changed there (late) in the first half. We found what we needed to be doing defensively," Emerald coach Mark Sorrow said. "That kind of carried over into the second half. That was huge getting that momentum going into the locker room, and that kind of swung the game."
After the initial run that had Emerald appearing to be unchallenged, the Blue Flashes fought their way back and whittled the margin to just five points as the first half drew to a close.
But the Vikings began to employ a full-court press, and forced four consecutive turnovers that led to two layups apiece from Mil Hackett and Kelvis Louden.
Those eight points blew the score from 35-30 to 43-30 in the blink of an eye, and the Blue Flashes were never the same.
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