They opened the year losing five of their first 11 games, falling to some of the state’s top teams in all classifications.
Now, the Gents has seemingly put it all together at the right time and are riding a five-game win streak after Tuesday’s 85-54 thrashing of Kaplan on the Pirates’ home court.
The Gents improved to 10-6 on the year with the victory heading into Friday’s road contest at Pineville.
“We knew at the beginning of the season it was going to be kind of rough,” said CHS coach Derrick Boone. “We had a tough schedule and these guys hadn’t played together that much.
“But we figured that by the time we hit the holidays, we should be starting to click and it looks like we kind of have it together right now.”
The Gents were certainly clicking on all cylinders Tuesday when they went on an 8-0 run to end the first quarter with a 21-9 advantage.
The offensive onslaught continued in the second frame when the Gents outscored the Pirates 22-12 to take a commanding 43-21 lead into the intermission.
As has been the case recently, defense provided the spark. The Gents forced the Pirates into numerous turnovers with their full court pressure which resulted in layup after layup.
“Our defense is our offense and that’s what I preach,” said Boone. “Defensively, tonight, we were there. All nine of our guys play solid defense and the majority of our points came off steals and fast breaks.”
Crowley’s defense continued to frustrate Kaplan in the third quarter, leading to a 28-point outburst that gave the Gents a 71-31 cushion heading into the fourth quarter.
“I really didn’t want to just sit back and let them shoot jump shots all game,” said Boone. “That’s why we went to a more aggressive man defense. We wanted to test the waters, see what guards could dribble and what their strengths were. We saw it and we immediately attacked it.”
The Gents slowed the pace in the fourth quarter and were outscored 17-14.
Nine Gents scored in the victory, including five in double figures.
Danny Malbrough led the way with 15 points. Jerrell Andrus scored 14, Kaleb Cormier followed with 12 points and Tuskani Figaro scored 11.
Also contributing in the victory were Andre Mills with nine points; Damon Malbrough, eight; Davante Bourque and Dorris Senegal with six each and Dylan Montgomery with four.
Tee Choate led Kaplan with 13 points and O’Ryan Rudd had nine.
“We take it one game at a time,” said Boone. “I don’t really look at our record anymore, I just look at our progress and we’ve put together a little win streak. For our guys, that’s a good thing as far as heading into district play.”