Bob Jones resumes area play with win over AustinPublished 9:30am Wednesday, January 11, 2012
BY LINDSAY VAUGHT
Bob Jones needed a second-half surge to propel them to a key area win over Austin by a final score of 65-54. The win completes a sweep of the Black Bears in the regular season but it was anything but easy.
After Reggie Ragland gave Bob Jones an early 2-0 lead, Austin’s swarming defense forced turnovers and the Black Bears took the lead. Austin took an 8-4 lead on Detric Mostella’s fast break layup.
Jeffrey Moss hit a 3-point basket to get Bob Jones back to 9-7 and the teams traded baskets for a 15-14 Austin lead after one quarter.
Keyed by their defense, Austin held the Patriots to just 29 percent shooting in the first half on 9 of 31 shots. Austin took their biggest lead at 26-17 at the 4:10 mark in the second quarter.
But, when Bob Jones needed a play, Moss came through. He hit a 3-point shot and was fouled for a 4-point swing and after a Ragland rebound and basket in the paint Bob Jones cut the lead to 26-22 at halftime.
For Moss, it was just a glimpse of what was to come as the Murray State signee was about to explode for the biggest game of his career.
He started the Patriots comeback early in the third quarter with a tap in to make it 30-28 and followed it up with a 3-point basket with an assist from Landry. He rebounded his own miss and hit a baseline jump shot. A Landry finger roll gave Bob Jones a 9-0 run to make it 39-28. The run continued to 14-0 with baskets from Jemel Harper and Ragland as Bob Jones dominated the paint in the second half with a 23-10 rebound edge. Bob Jones outscored Austin 22-8 in the pivotal third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Moss was unstoppable as he took a feed from Tyler Davis for a alley hoop dunk to make it 52-36. Fouling Moss did not help Austin’s case as Moss was seven of 10 from the free throw line. Austin’s top player Detric Mostella fouled out in the fourth quarter trying to stop Moss.
When it was over, Moss had a career best 34 points. Many of those points came off his eight rebounds that also led Bob Jones.
Moss has always been a scorer but now is adding rebounding to his game as he works to vary his game.
“Its fun right now,” the 6-foot-5 swingman said after the game. “I’m just out there working hard being aggressive and it seems to come easy to me. We struggled in the first half. I had to step up my game and my teammates got me the ball in the third quarter and I scored and they got going as well.”
Tuesday night, like most games on the court, Moss exhibited the same cool demeanor whether his team was down by 9 or winning by 16. The calm nature that he showed as a football quarterback in the pocket now serves him well as the basketball team leader.
“I’m a leader. If my teammates see me get down I don’t want them to get down. I keep a positive attitude. We’ve been down before. Our team knows that if we are down we are not out of the game. We can always fight back,” said Moss whose previous career best was 24 points.
Moss did have some help from his teammates. Reggie Ragland had 10 points and Jemel Harper had 8 points off the bench. Landry had 8 points and 5 rebounds. Defensively Tyler Davis held Mostella, Austin’s leading scorer to only 3 points.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game, it always is with Austin,” Bob Jones coach Danny Petty said. “They hit some shots early and we missed some shots. Our starters played a lot of minutes tonight because it was an important game and Austin made it close.”
Bob Jones is now 3-0 in region play and 18-0 overall and is still the number 1 ranked team in 6A in the Alabama Sports Writers Association poll. Bob Jones hosts Decatur in another area game on Friday night.