APPALACHIA — Appalachia guard Forrest Stuart is most decidedly “The Man.”
But then, the entire Bulldog roster this season is looking rather mannish.
Tyler Hall hit six 3-pointers on his way to 22 points, and Appalachia outgunned visiting Twin Springs 64-55 in non-district action Wednesday night.
“That’s what we need from (Hall) to balance out and help Forrest with some of our offensive chores,” said Appalachia coach Pat Jervis.
“I don’t know what kind of offensive night Forrest had. I don’t think he had any big numbers. But Tyler took up the slack and that’s what we need.”
Having other scorers step up serves to chastise opponents for excessive defensive focus on Stuart, he said. And it’s not like Stuart was a non-entity. He scored eight points, but also distributed eight assists and grabbed eight rebounds.
The unbeaten Bulldogs (5-0) got 16 points from 6-foot-7 Mladen Bogicevics, an exchange student from Germany of a size and build not entirely dissimilar to Ivan Drago.
He fancies himself a three, but he is adapting nicely to his new assignment as a five.
“Mladen has come along. He’s obviously a force inside. The last three games he’s been double figures in both rebounds and points,” said Jervis, who also got six rebounds, two steals, two assists and a block from the big youngster.
Bogicevic got most of his points Jervis style in the post, but also forced a turnover for a memorable transition layup.
Mason Stuart added nine points for Appalachia.
The Titans (3-2) got 18 points and seven rebounds from David Campbell while Kris Jordan scored 14 points, grabbing eight boards and dishing out seven assists. Jared Finch scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Twin Springs hit nine 3-pointers as a team but fell short in other areas.
“As long as we keep letting the other team get layups and put-backs, we’re going to struggle. We’ve got to shut down the lane a little bit. It’s killing us,” said Titans coach John McCrary, whose team got a trifecta from freshman Caleb Smith to pull within eight points of the Bulldogs with 1:12 remaining in the game.
In the girls varsity opener , Erica Boggs and Teryn Mullins scored eight points apiece as the Lady Bulldogs beat Twin Springs 38-28.
“I thought we hustled well, but we had too many missed layups and we never were in synch tonight. We were lucky to win the game at all,” said Appalachia coach Angela Honeycutt, whose team improved to 3-2 overall.
The Lady Bulldogs were to some degree distracted by the unexpected death of longtime Appalachia athletic booster Reba Head, a relative of more than one of her players. Honeycutt tried to shelter her team from the news until after the game, but word filtered through the gym.
Ashley McConnell paced the Lady Titans with 15 points. Twin Springs (1-3) played without leading scorer Tamara Campbell, who has been missing since the first game with a knee injury
Campbell averaged 20 points per contest as a sophomore.
“They’re going to re-evaluate it in a couple of weeks and see how it looks. She’s getting therapy now and getting fitted for a brace,” said Lady Titans coach Jordan Mullins. “We’re hoping for January.”