Mineola shook off a slow start to dominate the Hooks Hornets, 73-54, in opening round action at the Spring Hill Christmas Tournament last week. The Yellowjackets wore down the Hornets with incessant pressure, strong inside play and timely shooting.
Mineola opened a 6 – 0 advantage behind two buckets from Kadavian George and a nice two from Trey Sneed. The defense forced three early Hooks turnovers which gave Mineola the edge. The remainder of the first quarter saw each team struggle: Hooks with the Mineola defensive pressure, and Mineola with defending their backcourt once Hooks broke the press.
At times it appeared that the Yellowjackets just couldn’t get their legs under them as their defensive anticipation was lacking and they suffered from the perfect shot syndrome, but they persevered, closing the first quarter action with a four point advantage, 18–14.
Kelby Bruner kicked off the second quarter with a nice baseline penetration for two. Following a beautiful baseline jumper by Davian Sneed, senior Shaw Franklin hit a three-pointer to put Mineola up by ten points. Successive scores by Davian Sneed and Franklin kept the margin at ten points, while back-to-back scoring drives by Jonah Fischer opened the lead to 15 points late in the half.
Despite some impressive outside shooting by Hooks, Mineola went to the break leading 42–29. Mineola had mastered some initial uneasiness and began to score aggressively.
Kadavian George, who had another impressive night working inside, hit a three from deep on the baseline to open the second half scoring. Following a Fischer three-pointer, Davian Sneed made a nice move in the lane to score and make it 52–33 midway through the quarter.
The action turned end-to-end at this point and the margin remained largely unchanged. Of note was a smooth assist by Trey Sneed who dished the ball on a drive through the lane to his brother, Davian, resulting in an easy two.
Three consecutive Mineola turnovers to start the final quarter closed the lead to 14 points, before a Conner Dobbs three-pointer jumpstarted the Yellowjackets scoring. Relentless work by Davian Sneed and Kadavian George featured in the second half. Their play on the boards was spectacular.
The Yellowjackets scored at a good pace throughout the evening, but it was the second and third quarter efforts which gave them the win. Given that the second matchup of the day was against a talented Carthage squad, the Yellowjackets needed an initial win to knock the dust off.