The Turpin Freshman basketball team visited Kings High School Friday night with a 4 game win streak on the line. After a back and forth first half, Turpin (5-4 overall, 4-1 ECC) pulled away in the 3rd quarter on their way to a 49-36 victory. For the first time during their current win streak, the Spartans came out to start the game a bit sluggish and trailed throughout the 1st quarter, down 5-2 and and 8-5 midway though the first. Guard Matthew Johnson started to heat up from beyond on the arc late in the first as he hit 2 3-pointers, the last one giving Turpin an 11-10 advantage at the first buzzer.
The Kings Knights started the second quarter on a 5-0 run. Guard Matt Sheffer stopped their run with a hard drive to the basket, drawing the foul and then calmly hitting both free throws. For the game, Turpin shot an excellent 79% (11-14) from the free throw line. Still, with 2:30 left to play in the half, Turpin trailed 20-15. Johnson took over the scoring the Spartans, including a nice isolation dribble-drive from the right side of the lane, finishing strong for 2 points. He scored 5 of Turpin’s last 6 in the quarter as they closed the deficit to 22-21 at the half.
The third quarter opened on a bizarre play the foresaw good things for the Spartans the rest of the way. As the teams broke their huddle to begin the second half, possession belonged to Turpin on the far side of the court. While the Spartans took their positions quickly, the Knights lingered in their sideline huddle. When the referee handed the ball to Turpin, they quickly realized how out of position the Knights were and immediately inbounded the ball into Alex Steele on the low block. Steele was hammered on the shot by the late arriving defender, but stroked both free throws for a Turpin lead and a clear momentum shift. Turpin’s ball movement on offense improved greatly in the second half and as a result their balanced scoring attack returned. Six Spartans scored in the 3rd quarter, led by Jack Cnota, Johnson and Ethan Zinn with 4 points each. At the end of three, Turpin led 40-31.
In the fourth quarter, things continued to go Turpin’s way. On their first offensive possession, the Spartans had a remarkable 5 offensive rebounds, leading to Cnota’s low post bucket. After a defensive stop, the Spartans again outplayed the Knights on a sideline inbounds pass, this time with Zinn feeding Sheffer on a back-door cut for a layup. Mid-way through the 4th, Zinn picked the pocket of a Knight ball handler at mid court and was intentionally fouled as he drove to the basket. That was pretty much ended any Knight comeback as Turpin closed the quarter owning a 49-36 victory and a 5 game win streak.
Monday begins “Anderson Week” for the Spartans, as prepare for the first of 2 meetings this season with their rival from across Beechmont. But first, they face Withrow HS at home on Tuesday, January 9th at 4:30 PM. Make sure to come out and support your Spartans as they look to extend their win streak to 6 games.
Scoring: Johnson-15 pts, Sheffer-9 pts, Cnota-8 pts, Goldey-7 pts, Zinn-7 pts, Steele-2 pts, Naughton-1 pt
Rebounds: Cnota-4, Johnson-3, Naughton-2, Sheffer-2, Goldey-1, Gundrum-1, Steele-1