By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
SHADY SPRING —
Register-Herald Sports Writer
With 5:58 remaining, Shady Spring senior guard Jordan Meadows sank a 3-pointer to make the score 71-35 over Independence.
Just seconds later, the Tiger faithful in attendance began chanting his name over and over again.
Meadows and the rest of his Shady teammates defeated long-time county rival Independence 77-54 Friday night in the final home battle for four Shady seniors: Meadows, Drew Green, Landon Perry and Matthew Plumley.
Meadows scored 31 points, including seven 3-pointers.
“It was a different feeling coming into the game,” Meadows said. “Especially knowing I am a senior and it was my last game at home. It was a great feeling.”
It didn’t seem like it was going to be a rout early in the first quarter, when Independence came out in a triangle-and-2 defense, marking Meadows with Chris Mills, who stayed on the hot-shooting guard like a pitbull on a ribeye.
“We tried to contain Jordan and (Steven) Chhabra because they score a lot of points for Shady,” Independence coach Chad Perkins said. “We just didn’t rebound and turned it over. Not being able to score really hurt us.”
Despite trailing by only seven points at the end of the first quarter, Independence found itself in foul trouble with Brandon Treadway and Cody Collins in the second quarter, which allowed Meadows and Chhabra to get hot. Shady outscored the Patriots 28-11 and went into the half with a 46-21 lead. The Patriots never would catch the Tigers.
“It was a big win,” Shady coach Steve Clark said. “We’ve had a couple games where it was up and down, but tonight we played well. I’m glad to have it for the seniors. We have four great guys who needed it.”
The Tigers gave the senior four a night to remember, starting all four of them with junior Chhabra and letting them finish the night on the court.
“It was kind of sad,” Green said. “I didn’t think I would be sad, and I didn’t play that well, but I’m glad we got the W.”
“It was definitely sad,” Plumley added. “But it felt good to go out and get the win.”
Perry echoed the sentiments of his teammates.
“It was pretty emotional, honestly,” Perry said. “We had a great crowd come out tonight and we love our fans. They come out and support us if we’re winning or losing. It’s been great playing for coach Clark and all the other coaches. I love them to death.”
For Meadows, who stepped into the leadership role this year after Chase Connor graduated, it was a bittersweet sendoff.
“It was a big thrill that the home crowd was getting behind us,” he said. “And beating (Independence) is big. They’re our county rival. I’ve always wanted to beat them bad and scoring 31 points was a great feeling.”
For the Patriots, it’s back to the drawing board, as they look to pick up win No. 5 on the season. They’ll have two chances next week when they travel to Montcalm and welcome James Monroe, both of which have lost to the Patriots this season.
“We’ve played some good games but haven’t been able to pull it out,” Perkins said. “Not being able to score really hurt us. We’ve just got to forget about it tonight and move on to the next one.”
One bright spot for the Patriots was the play of sophomore Aaron Hunt. The long and tall second-generation Patriot scored 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for Independence.
“He was fantastic,” Perkins said. “We’ve been starving for points and he gave it to us.”
Indy travels to Montcalm on Tuesday while Shady will travel to PikeView.
— E-mail: email@example.com and follow on Twitter @JDanielRollins.
Chris Mills 1 0-0 3, Tyler Haga 1 0-0 2, Andrue Hughart 2 3-5 7, Ryan Shumate 1 0-0 2, Brandon Treadway 0 0-2 0, Jake Bishop 0 1-4 1, Marcus Guy 1 0-0 2, Logan Kelly 1 2-3 4, Aaron Hunt 9 1-3 19, Cody Collins 4 0-2 8. Totals: 23 7-21 54.
Shady Spring (9-10)
Drew Green 2 0-0 5, Tristan Greathead 0 0-0 0, Joseph Keller 0 0-0 0, Steven Chhabra 8 4-8 20, Jordan Meadows 9 6-8 31, Joshua Snyder 1 0-0 2, Landon Perry 1 1-2 4, Nathan Williams 2 2-2 6, Keith Sexton 1 0-0 3, Matthew Plumley 2 2-2 6. Totals: 26 15-22 77.
I 10 11 12 21 — 54
SS 18 28 19 12 — 77
3-point goals — I: 1 (Mills); SS: 10 (Meadows 7, Perry, Green, Sexton.) Fouled out — None.