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Flat dominant: Eagles dominate district rival Hancock as Flatford collects career win 300

©2014 NPT PHOTO BY CHRIS TAYLOR
Cosby point guard Dessie Shaffer finished her Lady Eagles career with a 21-point night in Monday’s Region 1-A semifinal loss to North Greene. Shaffer’s offensive success enabled the Lady Eagles climb from an 11-point third period deficit.
Published: 3:31 PM, 02/02/2014 Last updated: 3:31 PM, 02/02/2014
 

Author: Caleb Chrisman
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

COSBY—Longtime Cosby High School basketball coach Brad Flatford earned win number 300 as head coach of the Eagles with a 74-50 victory over Hancock County on Friday evening.

Flatford, who has led the Eagles for 10 seasons in three different stints as coach, has won 207 of his 300 career games at the helm of Cosby. The veteran coach, who has had five 20-win seasons at Cosby, started his coaching career at Greenback and also had a one-year stint at Carter High School in 2005-06.

“Those 300 wins, you attribute that to a lot of really good players and coaches that have helped you along the way,” Flatford said. “You can’t do it without those guys. It’s a real special (honor).”

Flatford’s 300th win wasn’t the only highlight of the day. The Eagles jumped out to an early lead and were able to pull away in the second half, and they remained unbeaten in district play.

The win was the Eagles fifth in a row and also the ninth win in their last 10 games.

Jordan Self paced the Eagles with 15 points. Bryson Valentine added 14 points in the win. Kyal Clevenger also finished in double figures with 12.

A switch to a 2-3 defense early in the game helped propel a solid run for the Eagles. Cosby (12-8, 7-0 District 2-A) also relied on solid perimeter shooting, draining 10 three-pointers.

“We’ve not played a lot of 2-3 zone, so I was kind of surprised it worked as well as it did,” Flatford said. “I thought in the first half we did a really good job of keeping the ball out of the lane on penetration. I thought we did a good job guarding the ball and a good job helping.”

Derrick Norris was a huge part of the first quarter lead, finishing the period with seven points. However, Norris also picked up his second foul and had to head to the bench early.

The Eagles went on to lead the Indians (5-10, 4-2) 17-12 at the end of the opening eight minutes.

“Derrick had (seven) points in the first quarter and picked up two fouls. He was probably on his way to a big night,” Flatford said. “Foul trouble is a part of it though. We had to adjust, played that dreaded zone. (The zone) played dividends for us. We actually looked pretty good in it I thought.”
Cosby built a 15 point lead by halftime, 37-22. A Keenan Phillips three at the 1:17 mark helped push the advantage to that point.

The Eagles pushed the lead out a little bit more in the third quarter, leading 50-33 at the end of the period.

“I didn’t think we took too many bad shots,” Flatford said. “One of the things we talked about was getting more touches inside against their zone. I thought we did a good job with that. Our guys stepped up and hit some big shots.

“We did only shoot 10 free throws though, and our goal for every game is to get to the line 20 times at least. You can look at that a couple of different ways. Maybe you’re relying a little too much on the perimeter shot. You’re not driving the ball or going inside enough. But I thought in the second half we did a good job going inside to Kyal. I thought he played really well, especially in the second half.”

Cosby outscored the Indians 24-14 in the final quarter to pull away in the last few minutes.

The Eagles opened the final quarter on a 10-0 run, started with a three pointer from Clevenger, and capped on a pair of free throws from Phillips.

Cosby hosts Oneida on Saturday at 8 p.m. The Eagles will also host Pigeon Forge Monday at the same time.

“We’ve got two big non-district games coming up before we go to Clinch on Tuesday,” Flatford said. “We’re fixing to run the gauntlet here. I think we have six games in 10 days. We have our work cut out for us.”

COSBY (74): Jordan Self 15, Bryson Valentine 14, Kyal Clevenger 12, Cody Valentine 9, Derrick Norris 9, Austin Ford 7, Keenan Phillips 6, Michael Hood 2

HANCOCK COUNTY (50): Kwade Alder 16, Wilson Smyth 12, Bronson Holt 7, Cody Easterday 6, Peyton Miller 4, Alex Greene 3, Kolby Mullins 2

3-Point FG: HC (2) Smyth, 2. C (10) Self 3, B. Valentine 2, Clevenger, Ford, C. Valentine, Norris, Phillips.

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