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Cy-Fair stays perfect with home win against Cy Ridge

January 7, 2017 GMT

Cy-Fair stayed perfect in the early district season with a 79-73 win against Cy Ridge Friday night.

Cy-Fair led by as many as 15 points in the contest, going into the locker rooms at halftime up 47-32, and was able to nurse the lead as Cy Ridge mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback with some terrific shooting.

Cy-Fair enjoyed a very balanced scoring night from its key offensive pieces as the Bobcats racked up 16 assists as a team. Senior forward Cameron Gims led all scorers with 21 points, and three other Bobcats finished in double-figures for the night, junior guard Noah Thomas (18 points), senior forward Tim Turpin (12 points), and freshman forward Adrian Caldwell (12 points).

That sense of balance is key to the Bobcats’ offensive philosophy, head coach Chad Suleimanji said in his postgame comments.

“Any successful team has got to have that [team concept],” Suleimanji said. “It takes more than one or two. They all have their roles, and they know them. They just have to execute them.”

Gims and Caldwell, especially, were locked into the flow of the offense, combining for 10 assists. Gims has been playing and contributing at a high level for years now, but the freshman, Caldwell, is starting to really show something special as the season progresses and he becomes more comfortable with the speed of play.

″[Caldwell has] got loads of talent,” Suleimanji said. “He’s very active, quick off the floor. Early in the seaon to where he is now, he’s come so far. I told him, he’s got to get better every day, and he’s doing it. He’s definitely going to be a big key for us.”

Cy Ridge, which falls to 0-2 in district with the loss, struggled out of the gate, falling behind by six points after the first quarter and trailing by 15 at halftime. A valiant second-half effort was not quite enough to overcome the rough start, with shots just not falling, and head coach Steve Dibble said that both district contests have started similarly, contrary to the way the team was playing in non-district play.

“District has been that way,” Dibble said. “Normally, we start out pretty good. But [Cy-Fair] came out red-hot, and shot the ball real well. And we executed what we wanted to. We just didn’t knock down the shots, and got behind a little bit.”

Cy-Fair matched Cy Ridge’s production from behind the line in the first half, with both teams connecting on four three-point attempts in the first two frames. Cy Ridge hit six threes in the final two quarters, compared to the Bobcats’ one, but the double-digit deficit was just too much to surmount for the Rams.

Junior Cy Ridge guard Donald Hensley was hampered by a nagging injury, limiting his production – though he still managed to contribute six points in the form of two long-range baskets, leaving the rest of the Rams to try to bridge the gap in production.

Junior Cy Ridge forward Jayleon Ward put forth a standout effort for the Rams in the loss, hustling and banging and generally asserting himself physically on both ends of the floor. Ward finished with 12 points and six rebounds, several of them offensive boards to keep possessions alive. And Ward scored 11 of his 12 points in the second half, as he cranked the effort and energy up and fought to get Cy Ridge back in the game.

Dibble said that Ward’s effort and energy are positive signs that the young forward is beginning to understand and embrace the role this team needs him to play.

“He’s a first-year varsity player, a junior,” Dibble said. “He’s kind of learned the hard way. We’ve thrown him into the fire. But he’s getting better and better. He’s being more aggressive, and he was aggressive today and that’s what we need from him.”

Cy Creek looms for Cy Ridge in its third district contest Tuesday. With a 13-game season and two games in the loss column, the Rams are already behind the eight ball in terms of playoff chances, but Dibble said the solution is pretty simple.

“We’ve just got to play our game,” Dibble said. “We’ve got to knock down some shots.”

Cy-Fair improves to 2-0 in district, and has looked strong in its first two contests, but the degree of difficulty ramps up significantly for the next contest Tuesday, when the Bobcats will face the Cy Falls Golden Eagles at the Berry Center. Suleimanji said there are some key improvements he’s hoping to make before facing off against the consensus favorite for the district title.

“We can’t go out and trade baskets with a Cy Falls or some of those teams that are picked to be in the playoffs,” Suleimanji said. “Can’t do that. You’ve got to be way more solid in district, defensively. It’s what will get you to playoff basketball.”

But, despite whatever flaws exist in the defense, Suleimanji is glad to be 2-0 through two games, a significant step up in the district playoff race.

“Any win, whatever way it comes, however it looks, we’re just thankful,” Suleimanji said. “We’re just going to keep trying to improve in practice and prepare for every Tuesday and Friday from here on out.”