Fourth quarter issues spell trouble for Carver

Fourth quarter issues spell trouble for Carver
February 11
00:00 2016
Carver’s Milan Ruffin (22) turned in a solid performance at both ends of the floor against West Stokes.



Entering the fourth quarter, Carver appeared to have enough momentum to possibly secure a win over West Stokes in JV basketball. As things turned out, any advantage that the Yellow Jackets may have had was only temporary.

The fourth quarter was an absolute disaster. Carver self-destructed in a 46-38 setback on its home court last week. There was plenty of agony associated with this loss. The Yellow Jackets failed to score over the final four-and-a-half minutes of the game.

“Basically, the guys that carried us into the fourth quarter just ran out of gas,” said coach Roderick Fluellen of Carver. “It hurt us that I didn’t have much of a bench for this game. When I made substitutions to give our starters a rest, that’s when the game started to get out of hand.”

Carver took its final lead of the night when Tiawan Walker hit a 3-pointer to put his team in front 38-36 with 4:43 left to play in the game. West Stokes answered with Anthony Eakes’ wide-open 3 and the downward slide was underway for the home team. After Eakes’ basket, the Wildcats scored the final seven points of the game to win by a comfortable margin.

The outcome could have been different. But the Yellow Jackets repeatedly sabotaged all hopes of a comeback. Unforced turnovers, coupled with missed defensive assignments and a failure to box-out for rebounds, was simply too much for Carver (7-11, 3-4 Western Piedmont Conference) to overcome.

“Nobody likes to lose, but I have to applaud our guys because they fought hard” said Fluellen. “We just have to learn how to finish. For those times came for us to make a big play (tonight), that’s when we ended up turning the ball over.” It didn’t help matters that Fluellen’s crew went into an offensive deep freeze in the nightmarish fourth quarter. They only had three points to show for their efforts in the final seven minutes of play. After trailing by a basket at the start of the second quarter, Walker and Nelson English led the way as Carver outscored the visitors 15-10 in that quarter. At the half, the Yellow Jackets led 28-25.

Walker was the top scorer for the Yellow Jackets with 11 points. Milan Ruffin and English contributed 10 points apiece.

For West Stokes, George Flinchum fin-shed with 13 points to lead the way. Richard Hall was next with 11 points.

Carver wrapped up its season earlier this week (Tuesday) with a road game at South Stokes. Although the season didn’t go in the direction that Fluellen had planned, he has some satisfaction that his team continued to improve and mature as the season progressed.

“I can honestly say that I saw growth from our first game, all the way until now,” he said. “Sure, I would like to have had more wins, but ultimately, the main purpose for the JV level is to prepare players for the varsity. So, I think I’ve done that with a couple of players.”

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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