Saturday, February 4, 2012
White boosts Frisco over Carrollton Creekview
By Jeff Andrews
CARROLLTON, Texas -- Carrollton Creekview students spent all night trying to get under RJ White's skin, singling him out with mean-spirited taunts and barbs.
Apparently that's the last thing you want to do to Frisco's leading scorer.
Fueled by the chants, White erupted in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 of his team-high 16 points in the final frame to lead Frisco to a 75-73 win over Creekview on Friday.
The win caps a remarkably good week for Frisco (20-9, 9-2 in 9-4A). The Raccoons beat Creekview and Frisco Centennial to join them in a three-way tie for first place in 9-4A.
"He's been doing what we've asked him to do for the last four years," Frisco head coach Andrew Steele said of White. "When you find that fire and you can get him mad at something, he gets to be a man-child out there and he's pretty hard to stop."
Creekview (19-12, 9-2) held a 64-58 lead heading into the fourth quarter after outscoring Frisco by 15 points in the third quarter. But the Mustangs' hot shooting didn't last. Frisco spent most of the final frame on a 13-3 run created by feeding White in the paint.
The senior gave Frisco the lead back with a three-point play with a little over two minutes remaining in the game, and Creekview missed a pair of shots in the final 20 seconds.
"Bottom line: We got fortunate at the end," Steele said.
If anger sparks White during games, he must get mad a lot. The 6-foot-7 senior leads Frisco in scoring (16 points per game) and rebounding (9 per game) and has helped Frisco overcome a sluggish start to district play.
The Raccoons opened 9-4A play with a losses to Carrollton Newman Smith and Centennial, but they've now won eight straight games, including victories over Newman Smith and Centennial.
White couldn't get much going in the first half against Creekview. Officials called a tight game through 16 minutes, doling out 30 total fouls in the first half.
"They blew it too much," White said of the referees. "I wish they would have let us play."
That hampered White's physical inside game, but Frisco's supporting cast stepped up to give the Raccoons a 46-37 lead at the break.
Including White, Frisco had six players with at least nine points -- Ryan Thomas (13), Kanetis Mays (10), Brady Culbertson (9), Adrian Singletary (9) and Kevin Stephens (9).
Creekview found its game in third quarter. Justin Cueto, who tweaked his ankle in the first half, came out on fire. Coupled with Stephen Buckner (24 points) and Ali Zia (14 points), Creekview turned a nine-point halftime deficit into a six-point lead in just eight minutes.
"I think during the first half our kids were too focused on the crowd, the officials, other things besides doing what we need to do on the basketball court," Creekview head coach Jonathan Ellis said. "We had to fire them up. We got after them."
But as the officiating loosened up, White was able to take advantage of his size in the paint.
And those pesky Creekview fans provided a little motivation, too.
"Knowing fans are talking, I just try to put up 30 a game," White said. "That's what got me going."