Freshman Tyrease Tatum, of Calhoun Falls Charter, shoots a layup against McCormick at Tuesday night's game.
(MADDY JONES | INDEX-JOURNAL)
McCORMICK — Despite flashes of productivity throughout the first month of the season, the McCormick High School boys basketball team has consistently been plagued by one big problem: the ability to carry over solid first-half performances to the second half.
After a fantastic first-half performance Tuesday night against Calhoun Falls, that problem reared its ugly head again.
McCormick followed up a 38-point first half with just 12 total in the third and fourth quarters, and the No. 9 Blue Flashes rebounded from what was at one point a 13-point deficit to snatch a 55-50 victory in McCormick.
"It's frustrating not to win that game because I thought we outplayed (Calhoun Falls) ... but that third quarter has been biting us in the butt all year," said McCormick coach Rico Salliewhite, whose team is now 2-9 overall, 1-1 in Region 1-A. "There's been some games where we've been playing really, really well, then we get in the third quarter and just stop doing it.
"I've got a lot of young kids. Another year of experience and we'll probably get over that hurdle. I'm hoping later on in this year, we can get over that hurdle."
As frustratingly stagnant as the Chiefs' offense was in the second half, it was that dynamic in the first two quarters. McCormick exploded out of the gate, blitzing Calhoun Falls by scoring the first nine points of the game and building a 15-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game.
But the Flashes, led by 27 points from Tremon Bryant, never flinched. They gnawed the lead down to seven points at halftime, then shifted their defense in the second half to take away what the Chiefs were using to gain the advantage.
"We came out flat, and we just had to settle down and calm our nerves and get to playing our style of basketball," said Calhoun Falls coach Mike Craigo, whose team is 9-4 and 2-0. "We stayed in our 3-2 (zone defense), but we played it a bit differently and changed how we were handling their cutters, because their cutters were what was giving us a problem. We thought if we could stop that, it would give us a chance to get back in the game."
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