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Basketball (M)

B.J. gets PT for Catawba in easy win

By Ronnie Gallagher, The Salisbury Post B.J. Robertson has a simple way of describing his career as a basketball player at Catawba College. “You go through steps,” said the former High Point Central star. “When you’re a freshman, you want to play. When you’re a sophomore, you want to start. When you’re a junior, you want to average 15 points. “And when you’re a senior, you just really want to win.” Robertson, now a senior, is definitely on the right team. The 6-2 point guard had to step in for injured Kevin Petty Wednesday night, and ran the show with aplomb as the Indians improved to 7-1 with a ho-hum, 89-62 yawner over Allen. There was never a doubt about which team would win. Catawba was better than its NAIAfoe from Columbia, S.C, in every phase. The only question was whether the Indians could stay awake through the entire 40 minutes. With exams over and school out for Christmas, the announced attendance of 271 was probably generous. The pounding Catawba gave Allen wasn’t. “There was no crowd in here, but when it’s time to play, you’ve got to come in focused and ready,” said senior Quentin Bryant, who finished with 10 points. “It’s hard,” Robertson added. “It’s really self-motivation. But it’s like any other game. You have to win.” The Indians got off to their usual quick start, streaking to a 18-6 advantage. Alex Luyk, the best 6-foot-10 3-point shooter in the South Atlantic Conference, hit two treys in the run. Terrence Hamilton and Brian Carter leaped over the smaller Yellow Jackets for spin moves and dunks. Luyk, who is from Spain, isn’t your ordinary European player, according to coach Jim Baker. And he allows him to shoot outside whenever he’s open. “If Alex takes two or three 3s, it’s probably good for us,” Baker said. Baker added he didn’t run too many plays for Luyk — or anyone else, for that matter. He knew Steve Joyner, the J.C. Smith coach, was in the house. Catawba plays J.C. Smith, one of the best teams in the CIAA, on Sunday in Goodman Gym at 3 p.m. “I knew we were being scouted,” Baker grinned, “so we just ran basic stuff.” “Basic” was by far enough on this night. By the end of the first half, Catawba led 44-21. Hamilton, a 6-6 senior, and Luyk each had 12 points in a relatively-easy performance. But a stale start to the second half had Baker shaking his head. Catawba didn’t score a basket for five minutes as Allen crept within 47-33. “Every team is different,” Baker mused. “This team really seems to get out of the gate very well. But we don’t quite come out and get it done in the second half. I don’t know if I have to sub a little more or start trapping — or something — to get us going.” Robertson steadied the ship, hitting a lefty three to get the offense untracked. After Luyk took a pass from Reggie Proctor and scored, and Bryant added a rebound bucket, Robertson again nailed a long trifecta for a 62-43 lead. Everyone breathed easy from that point and settled back to watch a dunkfest. At one point, on consecutive trips, the 6-7 Carter, Luyk and 6-8 Jacob Parks all had rim-rattling dunks. Robertson showcased a wide smile when asked about the big men. “It makes your job a lot easier,” he said. “You make one simple pass inside and it’s either an assist or it turns out to be something positive.” Robertson was certainly something positive. He started two years ago before giving up the point guard spot to Petty midway through last season. “It wasn’t that B.J. was playing poorly,” said Baker. “It was just that Petty was playing so good. But B.J. stepped in tonight and played well.” He also broke a good sweat with a season-high 23 minutes. “It felt great,” he said. “It’s a feeling I haven’t had in a long while. I felt confident so maybe now, I can help (Petty) out more when I do come in. “As long as we have people in there who want to win, I’m happy backing people up. I’m happy being a part of a winning program.” *** NOTES: Petty is out with an injured spleen. He is expected to play Sunday. ... Robertson led the team, along with Duke Phipps, with four assists. ... Hamilton and Luyk had double-doubles. ... Britt Jernigan hit two long 3-pointers. ... Twelve Indians scored, including Pat Swift, Byron Whitehead and Robert Owens. ... Jarmark Parker also had his most minutes of the season (14). Sunday’s opponent, J.C. Smith, is 7-2. *** Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or rgallagher@salisburypost.com . ALLEN (62) — Harrington 2, Wade 6, Holland 4, Florence 9, Brown 15, Stovall 1, Pooler 13, Legree 6, Thornton 5, White 1. CATAWBA (89) — Carter 9, Hamilton 19, Luyk 20, Robertson 6, Phipps 5, Parks 4, Parker, Bryant 10, Jernigan 6, Whitehead 2, Owens 3, Proctor 3, Everett, Swift 2. Allen 24 38 — 62 Catawba 44 45 — 89

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