Loss drops season record to 6-6
STERLING — A 21-point third quarter pushed Apache to a 66-46 victory over the Sterling Tigers last week.
Sterling took the lead at 30-29 on a bucket by senior Nate Anderson with 6:27 left in the third period, but a 19-5 scoring run by Apache left no doubt about the outcome. By the time Sterling’s Hayden Taliaferro knocked down a free throw about three minutes later, Apache led 41-31. By the end of the third quarter, Apache was up 48-35.
“They switched up defenses (in the second half) and they made us pay,” Sterling head coach Trent Parrish said. “We made too many turnovers and those turned into points (for Apache).”
Apache employed a man-to-man defense in the first half as Sterling kept pace with the Warriors who are ranked No. 9 in Class A.
“They went into a zone in the second half, either a 1-2-2 or a 1-3-1 and we couldn’t adjust,” Parrish said.
Sterling tried to add more pressure to Apache ballhandlers in the second half as the lead jumped to 13 points, but that tactic resulted in easier baskets for the Warriors. Apache also knocked down six three-pointers with three in the first half and another three in the second half.
Apache led by as many as 23 points in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. Apache outscored Sterling 18-11 in the final eight minutes.
“We have to take all the negatives from this game and get better,” Parrish said. “That (Apache) is a team that should be in the Area tournament if not the state tournament.”
Three of Sterling’s losses have come from ranked teams. The Apache loss dropped Sterling to 6-6 overall as the team takes time off for the Christmas break. The Tigers return to action Jan. 3 at Fletcher before competing in the Black Diamond Tournament Jan. 5-7.