Jamestown Falls In Home Opener

Jamestown’s Shaheem Freeney shoots over Sweet Home’s Evan John during non-league action Wednesday night at McElrath Gymnasium.
P-J photo by Valory S. Isaacson

Jamestown’s Shaheem Freeney shoots over Sweet Home’s Evan John during non-league action Wednesday night at McElrath Gymnasium. P-J photo by Valory S. Isaacson

A field goal percentage of just under 40 percent, after all, isn’t great, but, boy, most of their makes — 15 to be exact — were from point-blank range and that was enough to carry them to a 55-50 non-league victory over Jamestown.

Evan John scored 15 points and Stephon Trueheart added 11 to lead a balanced attack as Sweet Home improved to 2-0.

Matt Hill had a game-high 18 points and Shaheem Freeney chipped in 12 for Jamestown, but its early defensive struggles, combined with poor free throw shooting in the fourth quarter, dropped its record to 1-1.

Leading 11-7 three minutes into the game, courtesy of three Hill 3-pointers, the Red Raiders were outscored 13-2 the rest of the period and trailed 20-13. Sweet Home, which took a 34-24 lead at intermission, never relinquished the lead the rest of the way.

ren’t a shooting team, they were a penetrating team,” Jamestown coach Ben Drake said. “We were really bad on the ball (in the first quarter) and our defensive rotations were even worse. It was certainly disappointing from a coaching standpoint to give up 20 points in the first quarter, because we’re not going to win any games giving up 80 points.”

Jamestown’s Marcus Rojas and Sweet Home’s DaeQuan Hill battle for a rebound during Wednesday night’s non-league boys basketball game at McElrath Gymnasium.
P-J photo by Valory S. Isaacson

Jamestown’s Marcus Rojas and Sweet Home’s DaeQuan Hill battle for a rebound during Wednesday night’s non-league boys basketball game at McElrath Gymnasium. P-J photo by Valory S. Isaacson

The Red Raiders, who still trailed, 46-38, after three quarters, made it interesting, in the final period, but never could quite get over the hump. The closest they got came after Freeney converted a traditional 3-point play, courtesy of a pair of nifty passes by Grant Moore and Daunte Garland, which cut the deficit to 52-48, with 3:18 remaining.

But Hill missed a trey on a good look from the corner that would have cut the deficit to a point, Jamestown turned it over on its next possession and then missed four straight free throws — the hosts were 1 for 6 from the charity stripe in the final period and 5 of 15 for the game — to derail a chance at a comeback.

“That’s a killer when you shoot that from the free throw line,” Drake said. “It’s not a shock. We’re not a very good free throw shooting team, but you can’t go 33 percent and win close games. We have to be able to knock those down.”

Jamestown won’t have much time to feel sorry for itself as it travels to Fredonia for another non-league game Friday.

“The nice thing about basketball is you don’t have to wait a whole other week,” Drake said. “You come right back. We have five games in the first two-and-a-half weeks, (so there’s) a lot of playing, which can be good. But we also need some practice time to figure some things out.”

NOTES: Moore grabbed seven rebounds and blocked three shots; Freeney grabbed six rebounds; and Elijah Rojas added five assists. … Jamestown turned the ball over 16 times compared to only eight for the Panthers. … In the junior varsity game, Sweet Home posted a 60-52 come-from-behind victory. Travon Blakeslee led the way with 14 points for Jamestown.

SWEET HOME (55)

John 5 4 15, Nix 3 0 6, Lucas 2 0 4, McDuffie 4 0 8, Hill 1 3 5, Trueheart 3 2 11, Robertson 3 0 6. Totals 21 9 55.

JAMESTOWN (50)

ERojas 1 0 3, Hill 7 0 18, Faulkner 0 0 0, Moore 2 1 5, MRojas 2 2 6, Crofoot 2 0 4, Freeney 5 2 12, Leeper 1 0 2, Malarkey 0 0 0, Garland 0 0 0. Totals 20 5 50.

3-point goals–John, Trueheart 4, ERojas, Hill 4.

Sweet Home 20 14 12 9 — 55

Jamestown 13 11 14 12 — 50

Jayvees: Sweet Home 60, Jamestown 52

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