Black Bear offense explodes in win over Bessemer City
“Sometimes when I’m watching him I just stop coaching and become a fan.” Austin head coach Jake Miles said this of his star senior point guard Jason Scott, and it was hard not to agree with him. Scott poured in 26 points during the Black Bears win Friday over Bessemer City 91-73. The Black Bears had missed Scott’s playmaking abilities badly. Scott suffered a broken wrist late in the season and Austin dropped three of their last five regular season games. However, Scott return in time for the area tournament and Austin hasn’t missed a step since. The Black Bears averaged 75 points in their two wins in area and their sub regional win. The Black Bears achieved even higher offensive heights during their first regional tournament game.
Bessemer city jumped on the Black Bears first by going on a 17-6 run to start the game. Austin scored four points to end the quarter thanks to two free throws from Anthony Mason and a layup off a steal from Scott.
Austin’s offense finally exploded in the second quarter. The Black Bears took their first lead off a Mason free throw 24-23 and went on to take the lead into halftime 38-37. Scott had 14 points during the quarter.
Austin started the second half on fire with an 8-0 run thanks to a dunk from Mason and three point shots from Scott and Javan Johnson. Austin never gave up the lead again as they led after three quarters 63-59 and won the game 91-73.
“I’m very proud of our team for the way they handled the tough environment. We didn’t do a good job of getting our feet under us early.” Miles said. “These guys have a lot of competitive spirit and they play with energy not emotion which can trick us sometimes. Even when we got down early these guys know I trusted them.” Scott credited the Black Bears pickup in speed for their offensive outburst. “In the first half we weren’t pushing the ball in transition like we wanted.” Scott said. “We did better in the second half and the hot start helped.”
Senior and Troy commit Javan Johnson was another big reason for the big offensive numbers as he went 10 of 12 from the field. “In the first half I was trying to find my teammates but then I just got in the zone.” Johnson finished with 25 to go along with Scott’s 26 points. Anthony Mason and Fabian Bell both finished with 13. Jonathan Phillips led Bessemer City with 20.
Austin will meet Minor in the Northwest regional finals on Tuesday February 21st at 2:15 p.m.