The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 10, 2012

Cavaliers pull away from College Heights

By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer

— Thomas Jefferson went on a 12-2 run early in the second half and defeated College Heights 48-23 in a boys nonconference game Monday night at Thomas Jefferson.

The Cavaliers combined the inside scoring of center Justin Brown with the outside shooting of Tyler Thurman as they widened their lead in the third quarter.

Brown, a 6-foot-10 senior, scored 19 points, and Thurman, a 6-1 senior, had 10 points, including two 3-pointers in the third quarter.

“We had some mismatches out there, and we were able to take advantage of it,” said Thomas Jefferson head coach Chris Myers.

Brown disrupted College Heights’ efforts to score near the basket and had nine blocked shots, 10 rebounds and four assists.

“The big thing to take away from this game was our defense,” Myers said. “The offense was nice, but if you can defend, you’re going to be in a situation to win a lot of basketball games.”

Thomas Jefferson’s third quarter run began with field goals by Brown and Thurman before College Heights scored on an offensive rebound by Ben Chaffee that cut the Cavaliers’ lead to 23-12.

Brown, who had nine points in the third quarter, converted a three-point play, followed by back-to-back 3-pointers by Thurman that gave the Cavaliers a 34-16 lead with 2 minutes, 21 seconds left in the period.

College Heights made five of six free throws, all in the fourth quarter, but was held to one field goal in the last 10 minutes, 45 seconds.

“We had a difficult time getting the ball in the hole in the first half,” said College Heights head coach Eric Johnson. “It gets frustrating, too, coming down time after time and not getting the ball in the hole. Defensively, in the first half, we did a pretty good job.”

Thomas Jefferson never trailed. A 3-pointer by Trevor Spriggs started a 9-0 run in the second quarter as the Cavaliers took a 17-6 lead. Thomas Jefferson led 19-10 at halftime.

College Heights’ Jake Hamilton, a sophomore guard, had six points, all in the first half. Ryan Beaver, a 6-1 junior, and Chaffee, a 6-1 sophomore, also scored six points.

 Thurman scored eight of his 10 points in the third quarter and had seven rebounds and five assists.

“They’re definitely getting better every game,” Myers said. “They’re definitely becoming a lot more comfortable.”