Jalen Jasper scored 26 points and the Knights defense limited Battlefield to 26% second half shooting, as Champe scored a 63-39 victory Wednesday night. With the win the second-seeded Knights advanced to the Cedar Run Tournament Championship against top-seeded Patriot.
Jasper came out red-hot from the perimeter, busting three treys right away to stake his team to an early 16-13 lead. He and the Champe offense cooled off a little bit in the second quarter, but the Knights retained a 25-21 lead at halftime.
The host team turned it on in the second half. Jalen and brother James got to the rim twice to open the third quarter, sparking a Battlefield time out. The Bobcats switched to a zone, but the Jaspers and Champe found success against that defense as well, hitting more threes and attacking gaps.
By the end of the third quarter, Champe (18-5) had extended its lead to double digits. The Knights defense was good, and Battlefield went cold shooting the ball. Champe played a smart game as its lead grew.
“Our energy defending, our hitting the gaps, and our patience tonight,” answered Knights coach Walter Webb when asked about the keys to victory after the game. “Instead of playing just fast we played smart, and I think that was the difference in the second half.”
Senior forward Trevor Bounds did have a nice game for the Bobcats (13-11) with 22 points and 11 rebounds, but not enough Bobcats stepped up. Only four Battlefield players scored, with Bounds and fellow senior Jordan Radford accounting for all but eight of the team’s points.
Meanwhile, eight players scored for Champe. The Knights bench contributed 10 points, while James Jasper scored 10 to supplement his brother’s 26.
“They’re special, make no doubt about it, they’re special,” said Webb of the Jaspers, his junior starting backcourt. “What I like about those guys is they play each possession tough and never get ahead of themselves.”
Both teams will be involved in the regional tournament that begins next week. For Champe, though, it’s always one game at a time, one quarter at a time, one possession at a time.
“Young players, young team,” said Webb. We’re just trying to stay humble, stay focused, and then just ramp things up each quarter.”
all stats are unofficial
|Threes: Jalen Jasper 4-10, Mahfooz 2-6, Savage 1-2, Zschoche 1-3, James Jasper 0-2|
|Threes: Bounds 2-7, Laster 1-5, Radford 0-1, Riddle 0-1, Yumul 0-3, Svenson 0-3|