'Exciting' would be the best way to describe Friday night's game at Jefferson High School. This game was a conflict of playing styles to say the least. Musselman scored the majority of their points in the paint, while Jefferson shot and made three point shots at an alarming rate. Ultimately, the points in the paint prevailed and Musselman defeated Jefferson 74-65.
Many of Musselman's points in the paint can be attributed to forward Trevon Wesco who ended the night with 31 points in all. Musselmans next leading scorer came via the efforts of Tommy Hargroves who had 11 points on the night.
Jefferson's offense was not to be out done. With a new energy and starting rotation, Jefferson seemed to be in attack mode for the majority of the game. Attack is just what Jefferson had to do against Musselman's 2-3 zone defense. There seemed to be more slashing to the basket and willingness to shoot the ball than has been previously seen out of the Cougars. Jefferson's newly found offensive fearlessness was evident in the game of guard Jalen Smith. Smith hit a staggering 7 three pointers during the game and ended up scoring 32 points in all. It was the sharp shooting of Smith that often forced Musselman to switch from their 2-3 defense to man defense. Smith did not work alone though. The entire Jefferson offense looked to be full of moxie and after the game coach Richard Lewis took note saying, "We were more aggressive. The guys played a little more confident. I think offensively we're getting a little bit more comfortable." The second leading scorer for the Cougars was Michael King with 8 points.
It should be noted that both teams also played defense in this game. It was ferocious defense that almost brought the Cougars back in the game late in the fourth quarter. Jefferson showcased their full court press which forced four Musselman turnovers that led to Jefferson points. The Cougars managed to limit themselves to just two turnovers in the fourth but it was not enough. Credit should be give to the Applemen for closing out the game late with a couple of key shots in the paint coming center Jacob Bare.
Overall all it was an exciting game that went down to the wire. Musselman improves to 9-2 on the season while Jefferson falls to 2-9. Jefferson's will next take the court Friday night at 7pm when they face the Washington Patriots at Washington High School. Looking at the positives of the game, Coach Richard Lewis said, "Everybody is playing a little more together and they're a little bit more intense offensively and defensively. I think that's the key. We're getting better, we're gonna improve, so we'll go after it the rest of the year."