Aledo senior guard Max Newell registered a double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds and sophomore guard Daniel Sohn scored a team-high 16 points as the pair led the Bearcats to a convincing 58-47 victory over Class 4A No. 20 China Spring Friday afternoon in a boys’ non-district basketball game at Aledo High School.
The win raises the Bearcats’ record to 11-8. Aledo will continue non-district play at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7 at Greenville.
The win also revealed the Bearcats are buying in to what first-year head coach Jamon Copeland is selling and are improving daily.
To put the Bearcats victory Friday afternoon in proper perspective, consider a common opponent between the two teams, Saginaw.
Two weeks ago at the Bowie tournament, the Bearcats fell to Saginaw by 11 points. Earlier this season, China Spring beat Saginaw by 22 points.
“I am really proud of the guys; this was a good win,” Copeland said. “I am proud of their effort and how they focused, and our bench was great, too. They communicated and did a great job.
“The guys are really buying in and they are taking positive steps every day to become better.”
Newell added two blocks. Also scoring for Aledo were Cole Nitsch with 13 points, Reid Dietrich with seven, Jason Llewellyn and Chase Becker, each with four, and Hunter Lucas with two.
China Spring led 13-5 in the first quarter, but from that point the Bearcats outscored the visitors, 22-8, to take a 27-21 lead at the half.
China Spring got back on track and outscored the Bearcats 15-10 in the third period to cut the Aledo advantage to 37-36 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter the game was tied, 41-41, before the Bearcats went on a 13-2 run to take a 54-43 lead with two minutes left to play. Nistch led the Bearcats in the run with nine points.
A layup by Becker off a feed from Nitsch sealed the victory for the ‘Cats.
“I thought the guys were patient in their shot selection,” Copeland said. “If we were open in the first five seconds of a possession we were going to shoot it. But there is no shot clock in high school so when we needed a full minute to take a good shot we were patient.”