Throughout the fourth quarter on Tuesday, Maryville Christian boys coach Brian Turbyfill continued to utter the same two words.
During the fourth quarter, they witnessed Cosby whittle their 15-point lead to one with a minute remaining. Turbyfill thought his players were pressing. They weren’t happy they lost three straight games at the Heritage Christmas Classic; they didn’t want another signature win to slip through their fingers. So, he simply reminded them they were in still in control.
Ultimately, Turbyfill’s message was received. Ryan Hudson broke Cosby’s press and dished an assist to Braden Gaddis; Jamey Wright forced a steal several seconds later and Maryville Christian converted from the foul line to earn a 75-70 victory at home over Cosby.
The Maryville Christian boys (8-6) began to rage after the win; shouts could be heard from their locker room.
“(The locker room) was really hype — we were really excited we got that win,” Ryan English told The Daily Times. “We were pretty anxious (to play) because we obviously lost the last two games and we felt like we shouldn’t have lost those. We get off the court and that’s everyone’s vision of us. We were really antsy to get back out there and show what we were really like.”
English also showcased his talent against Cosby, finishing with 22 points. Hudson added 18 points and Gaddis contributed 18.
English and Gaddis helped Maryville Christian control the paint on Tuesday. Maryville Christian had 21 offensive rebounds and outrebounded Cosby 37 to 26. The team also shot 54% in the paint.
That enabled Maryville Christian to build a 49-34 lead late in the third quarter. Whenever Cosby began to rally in the fourth, either English or Gaddis always seemed to have an answer.
“We feel like night in and night out either one of them could have a really big night,” Turbyfill said of his two posts English and Gaddis. “It’s just kind of whose night it’s going to be based off of the matchup — that usually plays a big factor. They both do a really good job of doing the small things that gain you possessions. … They do that night in and night out, and they will continue to do so.
“We wanted to steer the ship back in the right direction that we had going there before we hit our slump. This was a big win.”
Maryville Christian trailed by at least 20 points throughout that stretch, but that wasn’t evident by how Hudson’s players were competing. The players on the court fought for every loose ball; the players on the bench continued to loudly cheer for their teammates.
“They weren’t beaten up,” Hudson said. “We don’t have a good record, but we compete every night and we encourage each other. That’s what we are looking for.”
The Maryville Christian Lady Eagles (0-10) continued battling throughout Tuesday’s contest against Cosby (9-2). Haley Brown scored a team-high 12 points. Kaybrie Patterson contributed 11 points, while Naomi Atchley and Katie Johnson each added 10 points.
Cosby used several runs to take control of the game. Cosby’s Lady Eagles relied on their full-court press to force fourth straight turnovers in the backcourt, building a 23-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the fourth quarter, they went on a 15-5 run to stretch that lead to 74-44.
“You know as well as we do that the general conception is that if you play tough competition it makes you better,” Hudson said. “That’s what we are hoping for. We are not purposely going out and finding teams that could potentially kill us, but in a COVID year we are taking what we can get and we aren’t going to shy away from (tough competition).
“Cosby is well-coached. They know what they are doing. They can all hit outside shots and they can attack the basket too. They are definitely a tough and well-coached team.