CCHS downs Comer, TrinityPublished 11:57am Wednesday, January 9, 2013
By Ed Bailey
What a difference Xavier Moon makes for the Cougars of Central-Coosa High School.
Until this past Friday, Moon had been out of action with a lower body injury.
In his absence, Coosa had two dismal offensive performances at Dadeville’s Holiday Tournament, avergaing 15 points per game as a team.
Upon their star guard’s return, the Cougars have cracked the 70-point plateau with a 71-37 drubbing of B.B. Comer this past Friday and a 75-66 defeat of Trinity Presbyterian Academy.
Moon led the way over the now 9-7 Cougars taming of the Wildcats, netting 41 points in the victory.
15 of those points came in the final stanza as Trinity began to claw its way back into the game thanks to second-chance opportunities created by a decided edge in offensive rebounding.
However, according to Central-Coosa boys basketball coach Joe Belyeu, the Cougars second straight win happened because of Moon’s supporting cast.
David McKinney led an all-out assault from three-point range as he hit five long-balls in the first half to help send Central-Coosa into the break up 38-29 after an 11-2 run to end the half.
Those 15 points were all that Central-Coosa’s big man scored, but Belyeu said that the Cougars needed every single one of them to come out on top.
“That’s about as well as we’ve shot all year, as a team,” Belyeu said. “Moon himself has shot better, but without McKinney’s threes and the team shooting so well, Trinity would have beaten us.”
Quin Robbins also got in on the three-ball action, hitting three of them as he scored nine points.
Trinity was able to weather McKinney’s storm early on as they headed into the second quarter up 18-13, but in that quarter Moon and Robbins asserted themselves from long-range and with McKinney staying hot, Coosa snatched the lead and never looked back.
Coosa scored over 30 points by way of the three-point shot.
The Cougars looked to have put the game out of reach with a 13-3 run to open the third and extend their lead to 19.
A 6-0 run to open the fourth had the game seemingly well in hand for Coosa, but Trinity refused to go quietly.
The Cougars then turned to Moon who used drives to the lane to get to the charity stripe as he iced the game for Central-Coosa.
Trinity would chip away at the lead but the deficit and Moon were too much for the Wildcats to overcome.
Belyeu said he was impressed with the effort of his team and said that Moon’s return had a bit to do with it.
“He makes them so much better and we’re glad to have him back,” he said. “Yeah, he may have scored 41 but, he’s able to do that despite facing double and triple teams. It honestly wasn’t his best game.”
Moon’s first game back on the court, while not as prolific, was still productive. He scored 27 points in the 34-point defeat of the B.B. Comer Tigers.
14 of those points came in the first quarter.
McKinney added 12 points in last Friday’s contest.
Belyeu said that the big win over Comer was important as it increased the team’s confidence.
“This was big for us because of the low showing at Dadeville,” he said. “Xavier was not on top of his game, however we were glad to have him back and hope he will continue to be healthy and the rest of the team continues to improve.”
Trey Royal scored eight in CCHS’ dominant victory over Comer, and his play drew the praise of his coach.
“I was more pleased with Royal’s play on Friday,” Belyeu said. “He played with a lot more intensity. That is something that he is going to have to continue to do for us.”
Next up for the Cougars will be a visit to Thorsby.