Spain Park continues to roll, improves to 19-2

Published 2:23 pm Wednesday, January 13, 2021

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By SETH HAGAN | Special to the Reporter

HOOVER – The Spain Park Jaguars continued an impressive season on Tuesday, Jan. 12, with a home win against Hewitt-Trussville to improve to 2-0 in area play.

The Huskies made the Jaguars earn it in the first half, but were overwhelmed by their athleticism, outside shooting and another big night from Cam Crawford in the end, leading to a 70-44 victory for the Jaguars (19-2).

“I am really proud of them,” head coach Chris Laatsch said. “(They) do a tremendous job with (their) defensive stuff, and we knew we would have to be prepared. We had to really grind to get some buckets, get some stops and get out in transition, and some easy ones got us a little cushion so we could relax a little bit.”

Hewitt-Trussville (7-12) came out with great effort to start the game by going ahead 7-4, but Spain Park caught fire when they hit two 3-pointers to spark a 10-0 run and take the lead.

The Jags held a big advantage down low thgroughout the game largely due to Colin Turner. He scored a couple of baskets in the paint early on, while five of his teammates also scored in the quarter to take a 16-10 advantage.

The Jaguars locked down on defense in the second quarter and nearly tripled their lead before halftime. Two triples from Brelyn Turner kept things close for a spell, but Spain Park finished the half with a flourish, hitting three in a row from long range.

Braden DiClemente accounted for two of those, while Crawford dropped in three buckets, including a three-point play to end the quarter.

“We have a bunch of guys that can really shoot it and that’s a great weapon for us,” Laatsch said. “Our kids work so hard on it, so to have a bunch of guys who can stretch it out opens things up for our bigs and guys who can drive the ball.”

Crawford, who was coming off a 31-point performance in his last outing, picked up where he left off in the first half by scoring Spain Park’s first 10 points in the third quarter.

Going back to the second period, Crawford scored 15 of his team’s 16 points to push the Jags in front, 45-26.

The Huskies got no closer than 17 from that point forward.

“I’m so proud of him,” Laatsch said of Crawfrod. “He smiled and put his arm around me the other day and said ‘Coach, it’s area time.’ And he’s a senior, he’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing for our program and playing at the top of his game right now.”

Spain Park drained nine shots from beyond the arc and forced 16 turnovers on the other end of the floor for a dominant showing.

Crawford finished with 21 points to lead all scorers. He also added five rebounds and three assists. Turner had another big game with 14 points with eight rebounds and five blocks. DiClemente posted nine points, while Blake Hay and J.R. Lambert each added seven points.