Truckers Prevail, Earn Region Bid

background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Truckers Headed to the Dance:
"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half, the
Churchland Truckers' season appeared to be ending on
Saturday night. The fourth-seeded
Truckers were getting out-played and out-hustled in virtually every facet of
the game by the fifth-seeded Lake Taylor Titans, a squad Churchland
beat 74-67 in late January.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>After shooting only 6-of-26 from the floor in the first
half, the Truckers made 59.3% of their shots in the second half (16-of-27),
erasing the double-digit deficit.
class=SpellE>Churchland completed the comeback by outscoring Lake Taylor
21-10 in the fourth quarter, prevailing 57-53.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>With the win, Churchland
moves to 12-11 overall and secures a region playoff spot, much to the delight
of Head Coach Pat Dulin.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It's always special when you can get to the regional
tournament," remarked Dulin afterwards.
style=> "This is actually only the sixth time in
school history that we've made it, missed it the last two years and I can't say
enough about this group. This is a good
group of guys and it was a special night for Churchland

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Lake Taylor's season ends at 12-10 overall.
style=> The Titans have now missed the regional
playoffs seven times over the past nine years.

Player of the Game:
senior Dre
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Demiel.
style=> The 6-foot-1 guard played with poise when the
Truckers needed him to, shaking off a 1-of-9 start from the field to finish
with 21 points and seven rebounds.
class=SpellE>Demiel made 6-of-8 from the floor in the second half, plus
did a commendable job defensively.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I call him our silent assassin," Dulin
noted. "He doesn't say much, but he's
always under control, his body language is under control and does everything we
need on the court, whether it's distributing the ball, scoring.
style=> I've said it many times we'll go as far as he
takes us. Down the stretch, he led us
like a true senior would do."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Being recruited by a host of Division II and Division
III schools, Demiel is still searching for his first
scholarship offer. His play in the
second half certainly made him look like a next-level prospect, being in total
control of the offense as the Truckers turned it over only four times over the
game's final two quarters.

drew back on his experience in his ninth grade year, the last time the Truckers
made it to the regional tournament.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"My freshman year, we were down in this game and
actually came back to beat Booker T. We
used that as motivation, and all season long we had to fight back from
everything. Basically, most of our
regular season games we were down at the half and had to battle back, so we're
used to playing from behind," Demiel stated.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"In the first half, I was forcing it, and Coach told me
in the locker room to be patient and let the game come to me."

Keys to Victory:

- - Deflections Spark CHS:
Churchland began to make its comeback in the second
half and take the lead early in the fourth quarter, what ignited them was their
defensive intensity, jumping out in the passing lanes and getting deflections
that led to steals.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Keying that were the likes of Demiel,
bouncy senior Jaman
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Hoskie and
quick junior Lorenzo Rodgers, who
also dished out a few gorgeous assists.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It increased our transition game," Dulin
said of the deflections. "In the first
half, I don't think we had a transition lay-up.
The second half, we were able to get to the rack a lot better and got some
nice drops down to the post, and we were able to get to the foul line.
style=> That was the biggest difference."

- - Control the Titans' Star:
style=> Coming into the game, Lake Taylor junior
guard Treyvond
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Lockhart led the Eastern District in
scoring at 18.9 points per game. A
couple of his offensive outbursts occurred against Churchland,
and a third one would likely extend the Titans' season and end the Truckers'.

center its attention on keeping Lockhart from burning them again.
style=> He finished up with 14 points on 4-of-13

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"All week, we didn't even practice the offense and went
over defense, defense, defense, and stop Lockhart," Demiel
pointed out. "The first two games I
think he gave us 30 both games, so that was our main focus."

- - Cherry on Top:
on to the district tournament semifinals probably wouldn't have been possible
for Churchland without the offensive contributions of
one Lorenzo Cherry.
style=> The junior wing delivered a strong
performance with 20 points, ten in each half, nailing a pair of three-pointers
and corralling a team-high eight rebounds.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Cherry has developed into a dependable offensive threat
for a Truckers team that was yearning for a complement to Demiel.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"This is his first year of organized ball.
style=> That's either his sixth or seventh 20-point
game," Dulin said of Cherry.
style=> "He's had two games where he's had six 3's
for us. If we can get him to give a
consistent effort every night, he will be somebody special to watch next

mso-highlight:yellow'>Another Date with Norcom:
style=> Back in January, the Truckers ended a 22-game
losing streak to Norcom, their nearby rival, by
defeating the Greyhounds for the first time since 2003.
style=> Norcom is red hot,
having won six in a row and trying to capture its sixth district tournament
crown in seven years.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Meanwhile, Churchland wants
to play for the final Eastern District Tournament Championship and do so on its
home floor.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I've been a sleeper all my life and my team's always
been an underdog. We're blue-collar
workers. We come every day, play hard
and that's the same way we're going to approach Norcom.
style=> Yeah, we beat them, but that doesn't mean
anything. That was a month and a half
ago," Dulin commented.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It's a Portsmouth rivalry.
style=> They're going to show up with their A-game
and we're coming with the same thing. I'm
happy we get to play them because it means a lot to the kids to play against

Postgame Audio with
class=SpellE>Churchland Coach Pat Dulin



115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
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