By BRYAN URBACH
After a sluggish start in the first half, Palestine’s Jarrell Owens helped the Wildcats pick things up for the team, leading them to an 82-53 win against Elkhart on Tuesday in Palestine.
Owens put up a game-high 18 points in the varsity boys basketball game, most of which were scored in the second half.
“We played our tempo for 32 minutes more than anything,” said Palestine coach Bret Botard after the game. “I thought defensively we did a good job of controlling a lot of the game that was going to be played. We did a great job in the second half of spreading the ball around and getting our assist numbers up.”
At halftime, the Wildcats had a comfortable 40-27 lead, and the Elks were never able to make it back into the game.
The third quarter featured a 17-10 point differential in favor of the Wildcats and the fourth quarter wasn’t any different.
Owens put up eight points in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats dominated the Elks by outscoring them 25-16 to bring the final score to 82-53.
“We’re in the process of transitioning from football legs to basketball legs,” Botard said. “And I think Jarrell took a big step in that direction today.
“I thought he went up strong and finished a lot of close plays,” the coach added. “He also ran the floor well, which is something that we’re working on to be a better basketball team.
“Slowly but surely, we’re getting there. We’ll get Sheldon Watson back soon and then we’ll hit our stride.”
Coming up next for the Elks, they will be traveling to Centerville to participate in that tournament, whereas the Palestine Wildcats will be headed to Brownsboro to participate in the Brownsboro tournament along with the Westwood Panthers.
Elkhart coach Ryan Blackmon was unavailable for comment after the game.