Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX


January 13, 2013

Third quarter struggles send Jackets to 52-36 loss

Crowley outscores Cleburne 16-1 in third quarter

CLEBURNE — After playing a competitive first half against Crowley on Friday night at Jeff D. Cody Gymnasium, the Cleburne Yellow Jackets were outscored 16-1 in the third quarter as the Eagles rolled to a 52-36 win. The loss sends the Jackets to 2-3 in District 8-4A and the Eagles moved up to 4-1.

Cleburne hung tough with the much bigger and more athletic Crowley team as the Jackets trailed 10-9 after the first quarter and 23-20 at halftime. But over the course of the final minute of the first half and the entire third quarter, the Eagles went on a 19-1 run to pull away for good.

Turnovers and rebounds were the primary two culprits in the Jackets’ loss.

“There’s always something,” Cleburne Coach Jimmy Littleton said. “We played a pretty good first half, controlled the tempo a little bit like we thought we could and should. We knew we couldn’t do anything getting up and down the court with their athleticism. We stayed in the game the whole first half. Then we came out in the third quarter and we just threw the ball away, only scored one point in the whole quarter, and that was the game.”

The Eagles out-rebounded Cleburne 39-16 and the Jackets committed 24 turnovers.

“Turnovers were bad, but the rebounds killed us,” Littleton said. “They just out-rebounded us. With their length and athleticism, we did not do one thing to control that. We didn’t block anybody out and they just played volleyball on the rim all night, tipping it and tipping it. If you don’t block out, you don’t win the game and it doesn’t matter who you play. We didn’t do what we needed to do to win the game.”

Crowley had one player listed at 6-foot-8, one at 6-foot-7 and three at 6-foot-4. The Jackets’ tallest player checks in at 6-foot-2.

Ryan Kirk and Marc Murillo got the Jackets off to a quick start as the two teams battled back and forth during the first two quarters. But the size and athleticism of Crowley proved too much over the course of the game.

Kirk and Murillo were the only Jackets to pull down more than one rebound. Kirk scored six points and had a team-high six rebounds while Murillo scored nine points and had five rebounds.

Eli Upchurch led the Jackets with 12 points, two steals and three assists.

Both teams shot 30 percent from the floor, but the difference in rebounds allowed the Eagles to out-shoot Cleburne by 21 field goal attempts.

Kyle Wilson led the Eagles with 11 points and nine rebounds.

Cleburne returns to action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Everman.


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