Bartow Stays Perfect With Rout of Kathleen, 86-64
Sat. December 08, 2012 at 1:00 a.m. | By Solange Reyner
KATHLEEN'S MALIK CATASUS is surrounded by Bartow's Ricky Williams, left, and Michael Walker, right, on Friday night. (Photo by MICHAEL WILSON | THE LEDGER )
By SOLANGE REYNER
LAKELAND | Bartow made baskets early Friday night like Justin Bieber makes top hits: At a fast pace and with great success.
Take this stat as proof. Bartow shot 83.3 percent from the field in the first quarter, with Kerry Jones and Ricky Williams perfect on their attempts through nine combined shots.
The barrage of points led to a lopsided 86-64 win over Kathleen in front of a packed crowd at Kathleen High School. It was a match-up of two previously unbeaten teams.
It ended with a loud statement for Bartow.
"They shouldn't lose a game the rest of this year," said Kathleen coach Tony Longa after the game, a slight look of shock on his face.
"They're like a college team. They are that good."
Five players scored in double digits for Bartow, including Jones (15) and Williams (16). Karlos Odum, who transferred from Tenoroc over the summer, put up 19 and Derrick Brooks, a player who moved from Georgia to Polk County, paced the Yellow Jackets with 12.
Big man Chris Perry, a University of South Florida commit, posted 19 with eight rebounds, throwing a 3-pointer in there for good measure.
He said his teammates were shooting so good in the first half that he stopped trying to position himself under the basket for a good rebounding spot.
"At one point I didn't need to," Perry said.
"We were just shooting the ball really well."
Longa said earlier in the week that Friday's game would be a reality check for his guys. Kathleen was 6-0 heading into it and feeling pretty good about the team's play leading up to it.
Bartow's gut-check showed the Red Devils they needed improvement, but it also showed grit. Despite being down 54-31 at the half, Kathleen kept fighting to stay in it.
The Red Devils made a nice little 19-3 run that stretched from the third into the fourth quarter, mostly on the back of sophomore Trey Jordan.
He had 15 points in the second half and finished with 24 to lead Kathleen.
It wasn't enough to overcome the huge deficit, though.
"We were just shell shocked by the 3-point extravaganza. Those kinds of performances take your energy away. It saps you," Longa said.
That was Bartow's intent. The players on the squad knew Kathleen wanted to make a statement by winning and coach Terrence McGriff told them to counter their energy early.
Now it's time for Bartow's gut check. The Yellow Jackets play Tuesday night at Lake Wales, a team this group of seniors has never beaten.
Lake Wales won the state title in Class 5A last year but lost a number of players to graduation.
The Highlanders had a confidence about them oozing every time they stepped on the court last season. It seems like Bartow has taken a page out of that book.
"We're not cocky but confident," Perry said.
"We're confidence in the fact that we can do things well and execute."
They'll get the chance to prove it Tuesday.
BARTOW (86): Chris Perry 19, Ricky Williams 16, Kerry Jones 15, Karlos Odum 19, Douglas Brooks 12, Quincy Childs 3, RoyQies Graham 2.
KATHLEEN (64): Trey Jordan 24, Alsean Evans 10, Deonte Dennis 10, Deric Taylor 8, Lecarey Newkirk 4, Ja'Von Harrison 4, Malik Catasus 4.
Bartow 28 26 19 13 - 86
Kathleen 9 22 14 19 - 64
Records: Bartow 4-0, Kathleen 6-1.