Abbeville's Matthew Phillips blocks a shot by McCormick's Kevious Hankinson during Saturday night's game at Emerald High School.
(Maddy Jones | Index-Journal)
Abbeville High School boys basketball coach Doug Belcher preached one word to his team at halftime after a lackluster first-half effort against McCormick Saturday at Emerald High School.
And his team came through. The Panthers scored more points in the third quarter than they had the entire first half and cruised to a 49-25 victory against the Chiefs.
"At halftime, we preached intensity because we were very sluggish in the first half," Belcher said. "Things like that happen after not playing for a week. But in the second half, that second group came in off the bench with more intensity than that first group and that got us going."
That second group was led by Tre'shon Hadden and DeAndre Hurley. Abbeville scored just 17 points in the first half, but Hadden and Hurley powered the Panthers to 20 points in the third alone. Hadden knocked down two 3-pointers and added another jumper for eight points, while Hurley made two transition layups and a free throw for five points.
The duo scored the final 13 points of the quarter to give Abbeville a 37-15 lead going into the final frame.
"Tre'shon hit down a couple 3-pointers, they began to run the offense, the transition offense and played what they were capable of doing," Belcher said. "They got after it a little harder that second half. The first half, we could shoot a shot but just couldn't hit nothing."
Missing shots was not just an Abbeville problem. McCormick struggled to find the bottom of the net all game. The Chiefs made just two field goals in the first half and did not fare much better in the second as the Panthers pulled away.
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