Robinson Steals, Scores to Beat Gateway

Skylar Sappington tries to dribble past Lift for Life's Torrande Griffin. (All photos by Steve Bowman)
Skylar Sappington tries to dribble past Lift for Life’s Torrande Griffin. (All photos by Steve Bowman)

Eagles looking for consistency as conference schedule starts

 
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
Email: bowmansj@sbcglobal.net

Torrie Robinson scored 13 against Gateway. He's shown here before the game with Miller Career.
Torrie Robinson scored 13 against Gateway. He’s shown here before the game with Miller Career.

Torrie Robinson does not lead the Brentwood High School basketball team in scoring or in steals. But in one game last week he ruled both categories, and was the free-throw king as well.

Robinson displayed all three skills in the final minute of the Eagles’ 55-52 win over Gateway STEM last Tuesday at BHS. With the score tied, the Jaguars were looking to set up the winning basket when Robinson stole the ball and raced in for a layup.

“Once I got the steal I knew I had to get it up the court as fast as I could,” he said. “I looked at the sideline and saw Coach saying, ‘Torrie, go.’ When I got to the basket I made sure I went up strong.”

The Eagles, who had trailed by 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter, were finally ahead. But Robinson wasn’t done. After the Jaguars missed their next shot he was fouled driving to the basket, and he calmly sank a free throw for a three-point lead with several seconds left.

“Duffe [Jon Duffe-Holmes] set me a really good screen and I got open and they fouled me,” he said.

Said coach Kevin Kullum, “That free throw sealed the game.”

Needing consistency

Charles Jones rises to shoot against Lift for Life.
Charles Jones rises to shoot against Lift for Life.

Robinson, a 5-foot-8 senior guard, has been one of the Eagles’ more consistent players. He’s the team’s best free-throw shooter (73 percent) and is ranked second in points, steals and assists.

Now one-third of the way through the regular season, consistency is something the team, 4-4, has lacked. The same group that won by 27 and by 19 has lost by 47 and by 37. The 37-point defeat, to Lift for Life, came the night after the victory over Gateway.

“We need to go back to the drawing board and work on what we need to work on to get better,” said Kullum after the Lift for Life game. “It’s a long season, there are ups and downs.”

Said Robinson, “We’ve got to learn how to start games harder. We need to start it up in the first quarter instead of waiting to turn it up around the fourth quarter.”

Jon Duffe-Holmes shoots over Marcus Bryant of Lift for Life.
Jon Duffe-Holmes shoots over Marcus Bryant of Lift for Life.

Jan. 6: at Brentwood 55, Gateway 52

It’s amazing that Brentwood trailed by 10 in the fourth quarter. From the field it ended up outshooting Gateway 72 percent to 58 percent. The Eagles made 10 steals. But they were inconsistent, exploding for 22 points in the first quarter but only three in the third.

Robinson led the team with 13 points and Skylar Sappington scored 11. They each shot 73 percent from both the field and the line. Sappington had 11 assists, Duffe-Holmes eight rebounds and Kenya Thompson four steals.

Gateway fell to 0-7.

Lift for Life's Nigel ferrell gets pressed by Kenya Thompson (middle) and Skylar Sappington.
Lift for Life’s Nigel ferrell gets pressed by Kenya Thompson (middle) and Skylar Sappington.

Jan. 7: Lift for Life 67, at Brentwood 30

Brentwood kept the game close until halfway through the second quarter when Lift for Life, 6-8, started a 22-2 run that produced a 22-point halftime lead.

Plagued by cold shooting from everybody except Charles Jones, who scored 17, the Eagles fell further and further behind. Meanwhile the Hawks were carried by the outside shooting of Marcus Bryant (25 points, 10 of 14 field goals, three three-pointers) and the inside dominance of the 6-foot-5 Montez McMath (19 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks).

Three other factors were Brentwood’s inability to make three-pointers (one for nine) and LFL’s 14 steals and 10-rebound advantage.

“I think they had a little letdown from playing Gateway yesterday,” said Kullum. “They didn’t come out as prepared as I’d like to see. It didn’t look like our regular team. I think they played a little selfish ball, didn’t play together as a unit and it just snowballed real quick.”

Kameron Kullum tries to find an open teammate.
Kameron Kullum tries to find an open teammate.

St. Louis leaders

Skylar Sappington still leads the St. Louis area in assists per game, with 8.63. Kenya Thompson is third in steals per game with 3.25.

Jordan McGehee shoots between Lift for Life's Jarmon Williams (left) and Jayshun Davis.
Jordan McGehee shoots between Lift for Life’s Jarmon Williams (left) and Jayshun Davis.

Upcoming

The Eagles open the conference schedule at Crossroads at 7 p.m. on Jan. 13. They play host to Maplewood-Richmond Heights at 6 p.m. Jan. 20 and travel to Whitfield for a game at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 21.

Braylon Edwards (right) fights with Nigel Ferrell for a rebound.
Braylon Edwards (right) fights with Nigel Ferrell for a rebound.

Brentwood is 4-4 as of Jan. 12
Dec. 2: Beat Crossroads 60-41 in Valley Park Invitational
Dec. 4: Beat Valley Park 58-52 in Valley Park Invitational
Dec. 5: Lost to Principia 42-39 in Valley Park Invitational
Dec. 8: Beat McKinley 64-38
Dec. 22: Lost to Westminster 63-16 in MICDS Holiday Invitational
Dec. 27: Lost to Miller Career 50-49 in MICDS Holiday Invitational
Jan. 6: Beat Gateway STEM 55-52
Jan. 7: Lost to Lift for Life 67-30

Torrie Robinson brings the ball up the floor.
Torrie Robinson brings the ball up the floor.
Skylar Sappington dribbles against Jim Smith.
Skylar Sappington tries to get past Marcus Bryant.
Jihad Muhammad defends against Montez McMath.
Jihad Muhammad defends against Montez McMath.
Ryan Short goes for a rebound between Jayshun Davis (left) and  Jarmon Williams.
Ryan Short goes for a rebound between Jayshun Davis (left) and Jarmon Williams.
Charles Jones shoots over  Tonio Morrow.
Charles Jones shoots over Tonio Morrow.
Jon Duffe-Holmes finds an opening to the basket.
Jon Duffe-Holmes finds an opening to the basket.
Lift for Life coach Jim Smith tells his players to get their hands up as Torrie Robinson tries to pass.
Lift for Life’s coach tells his players to get their hands up as Torrie Robinson tries to pass.

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