Jackets outduel Van Vandals
The Mineola Yellowjackets continued their development with a hard-won 47-44 outing against the visiting Van Vandals last Tuesday. The two most obvious improvements to their game were timely jump shot …
Jackets outduel Van Vandals
The Mineola Yellowjackets continued their development with a hard-won 47-44 outing against the visiting Van Vandals last Tuesday. The two most obvious improvements to their game were timely jump shot shooting and much better structured inside play – offensively and defensively.
The game also required restarting offensive production after the team fell flat at the start of the fourth quarter. In fact, the first eight Yellowjacket possessions of the final quarter included three traveling violations, one charge, one steal, one rebound lost out-of-bounds and two missed shots – one point blank at the bucket – with the rebounds going to the visitors.
It was a pretty serious pothole to fall into. The only way that Mineola could have stayed in the game was by playing hard-nosed, smart and aggressive defense. That is exactly what they did to pull themselves out of the fourth quarter offensive slide.
With 1:30 on the clock, the score was tied at 44.
Van managed a clean steal at midcourt and had an unmolested chance to take the lead, but the lay-in bounced lightly off the front of the rim, and the Jackets scooped up the rebound.
With time expiring, the Yellowjackets worked the offensive zone and produced a decent shot. The shot went amiss, but Stephen Ogueri ripped down the rebound and in one motion rifled a pass back out beyond the three-point circle to a waiting Hunter Vandover.
Vandover stepped up and nailed the long three for the winning score.
Van had 17 seconds left to re-attack. They managed two three-point attempts, but the Mineola defense was up to the challenge and did not allow good looks at the basket.
The last two minutes of basketball were simply the last action of a great basketball game.
Dawson Pendergrass got the Jackets started by scoring three quick inside baskets. His move, splitting a double team down the middle of the lane, was a combination of quickness and strength. At the end of one quarter, Mineola held a 13-11 edge.
The Vandals took a 27-24 lead into the half after an action-packed second quarter. The Jackets generated some great movement in the offensive zone. They got scoring from T.J. Moreland, Pendergrass, Conner Gibson, Vandover and Xzavien Lipscomb.
Moreland had two signature drives. On the first, he took the ball behind his back while in the air to avoid a defender. In the second he weaved right, then left, down the lane to free up a lay-in.
Ogueri put back an offensive rebound to end the third quarter and give Mineola a 39-35 lead. The confidence-building fourth quarter followed.
The Jackets were certainly challenged on many fronts by the circumstances of a game against a quality opponent. They overcame significant struggles to record the victory.