By Marco Clark, exclusive to the Times
The Chiefs opened district play with a win to put them in prime position to capture another district championship. Coach Micah Coleman made it clear last year saying, “We can’t get ahead of ourselves. We’re just taking it one game at a time without overlooking anyone or any team. Our goals include winning our district and then beating each opponent that we face during the playoffs.” The Chiefs won the opening tip-off to establish a stronghold on Ruston that enabled them to play well early. After the Chiefs figured out what Ruston was doing, they pulled away to win the game by a comfortable margin.
The Chiefs scored a low seven points during the first quarter by way of a three-pointer by Calvin Carpenter, 2 by Devonte Snow and 2 by Darius Young from the charity stripe. The Chiefs fared much better in the second quarter scoring 23 points with Carpenter contributing 7 of those.
Trey Solitaire and Aydrion Brown added six each from behind the three-point line. NCHS slowed the pace of the game enabling them better shot selection while forcing the Bearkats to take bad shots. This was apparent during the final seconds of the second quarter. As time expired, the Chiefs got off a shot, but unfortunately a Bearkat suffered an injury as the horn sounded. Both teams were headed to the locker room but were stopped by the referees. Ruston’s head coach, Bakan Beckwith, instructed his team to go to the locker room. The refereess once again told them to stop.
A Ruston player yelled something to the ref resulting in a technical foul. Darius Young converted 1of 2 shots giving the Chiefs a 30-25 lead at the half. The second half was all Chiefs. They simply dominated from start to finish giving perhaps one of their better performances of the season. Carpenter scored 16 points with 6 coming from beyond the curve, Young and Brown each added 2. NCHS led 52-41.
The fourth quarter was icing on the cake. Solitaire scored 4 points, Brown was perfect from the free-throw line going 2-2, Young added 2 to his total as the Chiefs won the game 62-49.
Leading scorers were Carpenter with 26, Young with 11, and Brown and Solitaire with 10 each.