Second-Quarter Spurt Pushes No. 2 Tatum to 64-45 Home Win Against Waskom
TATUM — Waskom started strong, but Tatum’s trademark pressure and defensive intensity gradually took control Tuesday night at Eagle Coliseum.
The No. 2 team in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ Class 2A poll entered the quarter down one point, but used a 16-2 advantage during the period to dictate the remainder of the contest in Tatum’s 64-45 home win.
Chaston Brooks was a force for the Eagles, who improved to 24-4 overall and 10-0 in district play. Brooks finished the game with 22 points, eight rebounds, and two assists. Five of his rebounds came on the offensive end as the Eagles won the glass 34-20.
Waskom jumped to a 14-7 first-quarter lead, but Tatum closed the period on a 6-0 run. That grew to a 12-0 run for a 19-14 Eagle lead before Waskom scored its only second-quarter bucket. Tatum then finished the half on a 13-0 run for a 32-16 halftime advantage.
In other words, Tatum gained control of the game with a 25-2 run that spanned the final 10 minutes of the first half.
“I thought we got down and defended them and created some havoc,” said Tatum head coach Brett Carr. “Honestly, at halftime we talked about that we were a little disappointed that we weren’t up by more. We turned the ball over and we were being sloppy with the ball. In the second half we got up and we just kinda relaxed, and that has gotten us in a bind before. We just try to teach those kids that it’s not ever over.”
Tatum led 50-26 through three quarters, but, as Carr noted, the Eagles took their feet off the gas in the final period. Waskom (10-6, 8-2) staged a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to 50-36 with 4:45 remaining, but the Wildcats could not get closer than 14 points, which they achieved four more times in the final four minutes of the game.
Waskom’s Kevin Johnson had a big night despite the loss, scoring a game-high 25 points on 9-for-12 field-goal shooting and 7-for-9 free-throw shooting. Teammate Eric Stephens III had 10 points, six rebounds, and two assists.
Tatum’s Jahee Johnson had eight points, five rebounds, and two assists, while Klifton Willis added five points, five steals, four rebounds, and four assists. Donovan Centers recorded six points and six boards. Martin Williams scored seven points.
With four games remaining on the district slate, Tatum is in complete control entering Friday’s game at White Oak, which, like Waskom, is two games behind the Eagles.
“It was a great game in that we knocked them off and handled our business, but I think our kids feel a little dissatisfied that we didn’t do it in the fashion that we’re capable of,” Carr said. “We couldn’t ask for a better situation than what we have now. I’ve been proud of the kids this year. They’ve come to work and done a good job. I don’t think we handled that whole game well. In the run in the second quarter, it seemed like we had people on board playing hard, and I don’t think we got that same effort late. We’ll just have to work on that.”
While the Eagles travel to face the Roughnecks on Friday, Waskom hosts Jefferson.