Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Boys basketball: East Bay turns back Lennard

GIBSONTON — East Bay's run to the Class 7A football region semifinals kept last year's leading scorer on the basketball team, Anton Crutcher, off the court until last week.

He started slowly, scoring only 28 points combined in his first three games.

Until Wednesday night.

"He's trying to get into a rhythm," coach Billy Teeden said. "He found it tonight."

Crutcher scored 28 and grabbed 17 rebounds in a 64-56 home victory over previously unbeaten Lennard.

Crutcher, a cornerback/receiver still readjusting to forward, dominated from the start. With the Longhorns locked in on East Bay's Division I-bound guard, Jonathan Jean, Crutcher had 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks in the first half to help the Indians (6-1) jump out to a 35-20 lead.

"When they take away Jon, someone's got to step up," Teeden said. "And he did."

Lennard (6-1) trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half before starting a comeback.

The Longhorns forced 22 turnovers in the final three quarters and fueled their run with fastbreak points. Lennard wing Diontae Johnson scored 12 of his team-high 21 in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer from the elbow that trimmed the deficit to five and capped an 11-2 run.

Lennard senior Robert Gant drove for a baseline layup that tied the game at 52 midway through the fourth quarter. Crutcher answered with a layup before Caelen Watts' putback tied the game at 54.

"Give credit to Lennard," Teeden said. "Those guys did not quit."

Neither did Crutcher.

The 6-foot-3 senior's three-point play 30 seconds later put the Indians ahead for good. He added a fastbreak dunk, his second of the night, and four free throws in the closing minute to seal East Bay's fifth consecutive victory.

Jean finished with a season-low 10 points, and Marwan Williams chipped in 10 points for the Indians.

Watts added 14 points for Lennard.

Boys basketball: East Bay turns back Lennard 12/11/13 [Last modified: Thursday, December 12, 2013 12:17am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Key roster battles


    Greg Auman looks ahead to tonight's third episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks," and talks about key roster battles that could shift with the Bucs' third preseason game Saturday night against the Browns on our …

    Bucs running back Jacquizz Rodgers (32) is hit by middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (58) while running the ball during training camp. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. And the most-searched NFL player in Florida is ...


    The Bucs just faced the Jacksonville Jaguars in preseason, and open their 2017 season at the Miami Dolphins. So with the state's NFL competition ahead of and just behind the Bucs, who do you think is the NFL player most searched on Google by Floridians?

    Fans react with excitement moments after the Bucs announce their first-round pick at the team's 2016 NFL draft party. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. 5 miles and a lot of emotion between Sickles, Alonso


    TAMPA — From one campus to another, the distance between Sickles and Alonso high schools is 5.4 miles.

    New Alonso coach Reggie Crume spent three years at Palm Harbor University, so he knows a little something about neighborhood rivalries. (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)
  4. Kevin Kiermaier was moved to the top of the order to provide a spark to a flatlining offense.
  5. Cowboys Ring of Honor members take a walk, reminisce


    FRISCO, Texas — Emmitt Smith is the NFL's all-time leading rusher. He helped the Cowboys win three Super Bowls in the 1990s as part of the famed "Triplets" alongside quarterback Troy Aikman and receiver Michael Irvin.