SAND ROCK – The Sand Rock Wildcats honored the memory of former Wildcat Jake Ford and his family prior to their basketball game against Glencoe on Monday night.
Ford lost his life in a car accident last summer. He was one of the Wildcats’ biggest supporters.
“All the kids knew him. He was at all the ball games,” Sand Rock coach John Blackwell said. “He played here and grew up here. Sand Rock’s a close-knit family. The guys just kind of wanted to do something, and we chose to honor him and recognize his family.”
Moments after recognizing Ford and his family, the Wildcats turned in a dominating performance on the court. They connected on 12 3-pointers, including eight in the fourth quarter, in an 84-41 victory.
Four players scored in double figures for the Wildcats (1-1), led by Cade Ballenger and Garyn Sharpe’s 17 points apiece. Ballenger sank a team-high five 3-pointers. He also had nine assists and four steals.
Jacob St. Clair collected 16 points, including three treys. He also had six assists. Kaden Justice added 11 points. Ben Dale and Gunner Cox both contributed seven points. Logan Wood had six points. Xander Bradley blocked 10 shots.
“In games like this, if you’re not careful you can get in some bad habits,” Blackwell said. “We scored pretty often and scored pretty easy to start with. We tried to get them to focus on some things we needed to work on. At the start of the fourth quarter, we worked on speeding the game up. We tried to pick certain things we needed to work on. We pushed the ball up the floor, got good spacing, hit some open threes. I thought we closed out the fourth quarter real good doing that.”
Sand Rock jumped out to a 25-10 advantage at the end of the first quarter and held a 43-16 lead at halftime. The Wildcats led 60-35 after three quarters.
Dakota Smith led the Yellow Jackets with 10 points. Andrew Greene added eight points. Cameron Atchley and Reid Drenner both finished with seven points.
In the girls’ game, the Lady Wildcats cruised to a 68-30 victory.
Sand Rock (1-1) began the game on a 21-4 run and led 41-12 at halftime. The Lady Wildcats led 58-25 at the end of three quarters.
Lanie Henderson led Sand Rock with 12 points, 10 rebounds, five steals, two blocks and an assist. Katelyn St. Clair came away with 11 points, three boards, three assists and two steals. Welch College signee Maci Brown collected 10 points, eight boards and a steal. Arleigh Beard added six points, five rebounds and a steal. Haley Grace Lisenbee finished with five points, three rebounds, an assist and a block.
Kayla Traylor led the Lady Jackets with 11 points. Kinslee Gray contributed seven points. Jaxson Sizemore finished with five points.
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