Crawford, Turner propel Spain Park to opening-night win
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
HOOVER – Cam Crawford threw down an emphatic windmill dunk, while Colin Turner scored 10 points in the third quarter to help lead the Spain Park Jaguars to a 57-41 season-opening victory against McAdory on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
Playing in their first game since an Elite Eight loss to end last year’s magical playoff run, Crawford finished the game with 21 points, while Turner wasn’t too far behind with 14 points.
The Jags were also without head coach Chris Laatsch, who missed just his second game in 27 years of coaching due to COVID-19. But with great assistant coaches including former Pelham head coach Joel Floyd as well as Tyler Blackwell, Thomas Ganus and Robert Bietighofer, the Jags were left in good shape and well prepared.
In all, eight players scored in a balanced attack for the Jags, which was just too consistent for McAdory to keep up with.
The Yellow Jackets were within striking distance throughout the game, but just never could find a way to put together a run to pull in front.
In the opening quarter, Spain Park got four points apiece from Crawford and J.R. Lambert, while Turner and Jax Havarec added two apiece.
Those 12 points were enough to give the Jags a three-point advantage at the end of the opening quarter, as just one score did most of the damage for McAdory.
Randall Davis posted seven points in the period for the Yellow Jackets with Miles Barton chipping in two for nine total points.
But the Jags held a 12-9 advantage at the end of one and had another steady quarter in the second. Spain Park got four more from Crawford, while six players scored in the frame for 14 more points.
Defensively, the Jaguars were able to shut down Davis, who got in foul trouble during the game, but Triston Gillmore hit two 3-pointers and had eight points for McAdory in the second quarter as part of 10 points for the team.
Spain Park, however, had done enough in the first half to take a 26-19 lead.
Coming out of the halftime break, the Jags continued a steady defensive performance, not giving up more than 12 points in any quarter of the game, including a third consecutive quarter of 10 or less by giving up 10 out of the half.
But more importantly, the offense came out ready to roll in the third period with Turner turning up his game. The junior hit five field goals for a 10-point quarter to complete his 14-point outing, while Braden Diclemente added a 3-pointer and Crawford and Josh Harrington each added a jumper.
That led to a 17-point quarter and helped Spain Park extend its lead to 14 points at 43-29 heading to the final quarter of play.
In the final period, McAdory put together its best quarter of the game on offense but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Jaguars.
A big reason the Jackets couldn’t pull off a comeback was a strong final quarter from Crawford, who iced the game with nine points in the final quarter as part of a 14-point period to help Spain Park pick up the 16-point win.
It was a strong start to the season for the Jags, who scored 12 or more in every period and held McAdory to 12 or less in every quarter.