Latest Cape Central squad adding to legacy with preparation, focus
Ben Matthews ~ Southeast Missourian
If you are curious about the maturity of the Cape Girardeau Central boy’s basketball squad, all you had to do was witness the opening quarter of its game Friday against Oak Ridge.
The Class 4 Tigers approached the Class 1 Blue Jays as if a District championship was on the line.
“These guys prepare really well,” veteran Cape Central coach Drew Church said, “and they focus.”
Cape Central opened its second-round game of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament by outscoring Oak Ridge 26-16 in the first quarter en route to a 93-41 beating.
The win advances the two-time defending tournament champion to the semifinals today, where the Tigers (9-0) will face Notre Dame (8-2) at 7:30 p.m.
The Blue Jays (4-5) will play Delta (8-2) at 4:30 p.m.
Church has been guiding the Tiger program for 14 years, so his expectations are well known. However, these athletes haven’t been around for that amount of time, so it is up to them to implement the coach’s expectations.
Several of the Cape Central players are now in much more significant roles than they were a year ago, but the foundations of the program: unselfish play and effort, never change.
The Tigers got offensive production from five different players in the opening period to accentuate those tenets that Church preaches.
“They are very unselfish,” Church said. “And they all kind of understand their role. They don’t try to do too much.”
Cape Central got its usual production from seniors Doreante’ Tucker and Tyrus Reddin, who scored 24 and 21 points, respectively, but those two also were active in finding others. In all, 11 Tigers scored in the game, including junior reserve forward Rodlandis Robinson, who totaled 15 points.
“It all starts with the leadership of those seniors,” Church said. “Our seniors communicate our expectations very well. We have two or three seniors who show (the team) what to do and if they are not doing it right, they let them know about it.”
There wasn’t much that wasn’t going right for the Tigers Friday at either end of the court.
Not only were they breaking the Oak Ridge pressure with ease, but defensively, the Cape Central players followed the scout to the letter.
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Church had instructed his players how to defend Blue Jay super-scorer David Layton and the senior guard was limited to a mere four points.
“They can take stuff from practice to games really well,” Church said.
The athletes can absorb information even when they can’t practice, which is the case right now.
With his team playing four games over five days, Church is having to do a lot of teaching in walk-throughs and during games. Neither poses a problem for this mature group.
“We can make adjustments and change things on the fly,” Church said.
Even though Cape Central is unbeaten at this point, their play has not been perfect, according to Church. However, there is an elixir to solve any deficiencies in the Tigers’ play.
“One thing is, we are going to play harder than anybody that we are playing against,” Church said. “That can kind of masks some things that you don’t do extremely well.”
CAPE CENTRAL 93, OAK RIDGE 41
Cape Central - 26 23 24 20 - 93
Oak Ridge - 16 8 13 4 - 41
Cape Central (93) - Elijah Wigfall 2, Henry Brown 4, T’Angelo Thornton 2, Tyrus Reddin 21, Anthony Mackins 4, Rodlandis Robinson 15, Doreante’ Tucker 24, Zachary Moore 3, Cameron Williams 6, Dorian Triplett 7, John Brantner 5. FG 42, FTs 4-5, 3-pointers (Reddin, Tucker 2, Moore, Brantner).
Oak Ridge (41) - Tanner Schamburg 6, Ahren Fodge 2, Kyran Newell 5, Drew Glueck 9, Garrett Seabaugh 2, Zach LeGrand 7, David Layton 4, Mason Keith 4, Bryce Hahs 2. FG 15, FTs 5-6, 3-pointers (Newell, Glueck 3, LeGrand 2).
- Christmas Tournament, Day 2 Roundup (12/27/19)