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High School Basketball:
Eastern Uses Late Rally To Push Away Cherokee

Thursday, January 24, 2002

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

Most basketball players have been in shooting slumps where nothing seems to work to end that scoring drought. Even the basic lay-up tends to roll off the rim leaving you in disbelief as a player and also a fan. Both Cherokee and Eastern were left with trying to figure out their shooter's touch through most of this game. Finally in the final quarter, Lance Evans hit three consecutive 3 pointers to finally break open the game by a 51 to 43 score.

Eastern has been enjoying a successful start this season by winning all eleven of their games. Most of their scoring has been from senior Lance Evans averaging over 20 points a game. On this day, the Vikings would have to get support from his teammates to get Eastern any chance of extending their unbeaten streak. In this game, Cherokee could take advantage of Eastern's shooting slump if they converted their plays. But the shooting woes would be contagious as the Chiefs could not get the baskets to drop.

Right from the start of this game, the Vikings took advantage of every turnover the Chiefs gave them. Eastern jumped out to an early 9-2 lead and during that run the Vikings scored the first six points of the game. But the second quarter wasn't so successful for either team as both teams combined shooting on 25% for the quarter. Evans could not get any of his nine shots to drop during the quarter. Brian Kemp seemed to be the only shooter on the floor scoring 6 of the 9 points in the quarter. Eastern lead at the halfway point 21-13. Through the first half, Cherokee had good looks at the basket but it seemed as if a lid was covering the opening of the rim.

Cherokee (10-4) didn't let missed opportunities get them down as they were able to close in on the Eastern lead. With 1:46 remaining in the third quarter, the Chiefs went on a 9-2 run to pull within one point. Tim Kemp and John Cowan were able to provide a spark in his teammates to rally Cherokee to a 28 all score at the beginning of the final quarter.

One way to get out of a shooting slump is to just continue shooting. That's what Evans did as he began to connect from way behind the three point arch to push away Cherokee in the fourth quarter. He connected on all 4 of his three point attempts when Eastern needed. The game was finally decided from the free throw line and Eastern captured their twelfth win of the season. Evans led the way with a game high 20 point and Dominick Meja chipped in 17 points for the Eastern Vikings (12-0). John Cowan had a team high 15 points and Brian Kemp added 12 points for the Cherokee Chiefs.

Photos by Forrest Robleto

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