Falcons top Spartans to stay unbeaten atop PAC-6
Jordan coach Kim Annas just chuckled when he was asked whether his Falcons could go undefeated in the PAC-6 this season.
“We’ve got Hillside on Tuesday night,” Annas said after his team rallied past a valiant Southern team 57-52 for its 13th consecutive victory. “That’s where our attention is now.”
Jordan (16-4, 9-0 PAC-6) put in a workmanlike effort, especially in the fourth quarter. And if teams take cues from their coach, that’s apropos, for Annas carried a large equipment bag out of the Falcons lockerroom, up the stairs and out of the Southern gym after the game.
Jordan’s winning streak was in serious jeopardy thanks to a stellar effort by Southern (7-11-1, 2-5). Behind 11 points from emerging big man Jerrick Richmond, the Spartans led 44-41 with 5:53 to play.
But Richmond then picked up his fourth foul on the defensive end and had to come out of the game.
The Falcons pushed the ball inside to their big man, Jared Hendryx, who responded with eight points over a three-minute stretch, including a three-point play and a fastbreak layup on consecutive possessions for a 49-46 lead with 3:06 remaining.
Jordan then made 4 of 6 free throws to put the game away.
“We wanted to get the ball inside to Jared the whole game, but they did a good job of surrounding him,” Annas said. “That gave us a difficult time trying to find him in the post, but in the fourth quarter, we were able to spread them out a little bit and penetrate and find him. He had a couple strong moves to the basket to draw some fouls.”
Spartan coach Kendrick Hall said Hendryx (14 points) was the “difference-maker” in the fourth quarter.
“(Hendryx’s) motor is really good,” Hall said. “He blocks shots, he alters shots and I think he’s really their key guy. He’s probably the best big guy in the PAC-6. He just keeps going, and he gets them going.”
Hall called the game a “growing experience” for his young team.
“We were right there in the fourth quarter,” Hall said. “It was time to manage the game, but versus managing it, we just came down and threw it right to them and have them the game.
“Yeah, you don’t like moral victories. But, hey, you’ve got to start somewhere in order to get there. You don’t just get there overnight.”
Jordan 57, Southern 52
JORDAN — Jared Hendryx 14, K.J. Alston 11, Josh Thompson 11, Darien Ortiz 6, Mike Lee 5, Willie Weeks 4, John Brown 4, Tyreek Frye 2.
SOUTHERN — Amari Hamilton 13, Jerrick Richmond 11, Shamiek Wilson 10, Marvin Tillman 8, Ryan Hester 4, Tyron Cameron 2, Javon Riley 2, Vince Phillips 1, Ben Johnson 1.
3-point FG—Southern 2 (Hamilton 2). Total fouls—Jordan 10, Southern 20.
Records — Jordan 16-4, 9-0 PAC-6; Southern 7-11-1, 2-4.
Southern (G) 35, Jordan 28, OT
Southern trailed 15-8 midway through the third quarter but rallied twice to send the game in the overtime and then dominated Jordan to win 35-28.
The Spartans (12-5, 6-1 PAC-6) reeled off 10 consecutive points over the end of the third and start of the fourth quarter to take the lead. The Falcons (11-9, 5-4) responded with a 7-0 run spurned by a 3-pointer and layup by Bayley Coleman-Cox.
But Southern dug in again, tying the game in a Bryanna Staton free throw with 14.8 seconds remaining in regulation. Jordan turned the ball over and the Spartans had a chance to win the game, but Ariana Tillman missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Southern quickly took control in overtime with an 8-1 run to put the game away.
Southern 35, Jordan 28
JORDAN — Salita Green 11, Bayley Coleman-Cox 8, Millicent Blivin 5, Shameika Chalmers 4.
SOUTHERN — Alexis Joyner 10, Bryanna Staton 8, Regene Watson 7, Sydni Dobson 6, Ariana Tillman 4.
3-point FG—Jordan 2 (Coleman-Cox 2), Southern 1 (Staton 1). Total fouls—Jordan 11, Southern 14.
Records — Jordan 11-9, 5-4 PAC-6, Southern 12-5, 6-1.