HEATH — Tigers coach Andy Dotson was still trying to figure out whether or not to make his team work out Wednesday morning after a 66-64 loss to Rockwall-Heath on Tuesday night.

Maybe there was some more teaching to get in for his inexperienced team.

Or maybe the lessons they learned against Heath will last through the Thanksgiving holidays.

The Tigers (1-2) got a reminder of how tough it is to win on the road. There were bad calls. Unkind rims. Oh and more bad calls — twice Heath players took shots that bounced either off to top of the backboard or the side of the backboard, elementary calls on most nights, but on this evening neither time was the play blown dead.

But Dotson believed his team was more the victim of a lack of energy. The Tigers fell behind 21-8 early in the second quarter.

They rallied to tie the game at 27-27 and 29-29 early in the third quarter. But Heath quickly bolted back out to a 41-32 lead, as it either were able to get to the basket or hit cold-blooded 3-pointers.

“We helped them some,” Dotson said. “We didn’t have the fire until late. We played well at the end of the second and fourth quarters. But we didn’t have the same energy as in our first two games.”

The Tigers also struggled to defend Heath’s outstanding 6-7 sophomore Demi Leonard, who had 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter. But with the Tigers’ lack of size, they’ll face that obstacle on most nights.

“He hurt us,” Dotson said. “He shot the ball right over us, but we’ve seen that before already this season at Tyler Lee.”

The Tigers did find another surge behind the shooting of Taylor Jacobson as they closed to within 57-54 with 2:25 left in the game. Jacobson had 11 of his 14 points in the final quarter.

But the Tigers let down their guard again as Heath’s Chase Neilsen made a layup and Dustin Morett had a steal and a made free throw to get the lead back up to 60-54 with 2:12 left in the game.

The Tigers did pull with four points a few more times late, but twice they failed to block out rebounders on missed free throws by Heath, giving away crucial possessions.

“We didn’t start or finish with energy,” said Emmanuel Chaney, who had 11 points and five steals.

Whether they practiced or not on Wednesday, the Tigers got a reminder that it takes 32 minutes of relentless play to win on the road, where you have to overcome the home team and sometimes the referees.

“We have to do everything darn near perfect to win,” Dotson said.


Todd Wills may be contacted via e-mail at twills@corsicanadailysun.com

Rockwall-Heath 66, Corsicana 64

Corsicana 8 15 14 27 — 64

Rockwall-Heath 14 13 18 21 — 66

Corsicana — LaQuintis Holbert 15, Emmanuel Chaney 11, Antoine Chaney 4, Taylor Jacobson 14, Josh Ramirez 5, Corey Wilson 4, Matt Ward 11.

Rockwall-Heath — Cameron McClung 7, Dustin Morett 17, Tony Tennison 13, Kyle Whittle 2, Chase Nielsen 10, Demi Leonard 12, Jeremy Casebill 5.

Records: Corsicana (1-2).

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