Cobras Win Conference Opener
HUDSON, NC (By Colt Jensen of CCC&TI- January 14, 2018)…Caldwell Tech finished 2017 on a sour note, with a 29 point loss in their final game of the calendar year, but so far 2018 was been all about winning for Caldwell Tech Cobras. Through the first three games of the year, the Caldwell Cobras remain undefeated.
In their first contest after returning from the winter break Caldwell Tech earned a hard fought 96 – 91 win over the Sandhills Community College Flyers.
At halftime, the Cobras had built a slim two point lead against the Flyers, and in the second half Caldwell Tech was able to do just enough to stave off a Sandhills comeback and secure the victory. It was an impressive victory for Caldwell Tech as they beat a Sandhills team that had only lost two games prior to the two teams Sunday night matchup.
The Cobras offense was led by guard Chase Byrd who scored 32 points in his season debut. Byrd was one of four Caldwell players to score in double digits.
Despite coming off a long break, Caldwell Tech made sure they were prepared to play hard for all 40 minutes, and that was the difference between a win and a loss in a tough first game of 2018.
“After a long break, like winter break, our biggest concern is always trying to get our guys back into the kind of physical shape they need to be in to be able to play our system.” head coach Matt Anderson said.
After a solid victory in their first game of the new year, Caldwell Tech wanted to avenge an early season loss in their second game of the month.
On December 2nd Combine Academy edged Caldwell Tech 79-78 in a loss that ended a five game winning streak by the Cobras. So, when Combine Academy returned to Lenoir for the second half of their two game series Caldwell Tech had revenge on their mind.
Despite losing in a their first game, the Caldwell Cobras were able to run all over Combine Academy in the rematch, and ended up with a 108 – 82 victory.
In the first half Combine Academy was able to keep the game within a 10 point margin and end in the half only trailing by eight, but in the second half the Cobras stepped on the gas pedal and sprinted out to a 26 point victory.
The Cobras again benefited from the fresh legs of Chase Byrd who led Caldwell in scoring for the second time in two games with 28 points. Bird was joined in scoring in double figures by fellow guards Jaylon Wray, Trevor Willis, and Omari Koffa who scored 21, 20, and 12 points respectively.
After being ruled academically ineligible for the first semester of the 2017-2018 season, Cobras guard Chase Byrd, who was a first team all conference performer a year ago, had an impressive fall semester which paved the way for his immediate return during the second half of the season.
Byrd’s return was pivotal in Caldwell’s first two wins of the new year.
“I’m feeling pretty good about my first two games back.” guard Chase Byrd said. “I’m just excited to be back on the court with my team. The team performance has been really good so far, everybody has been bringing value to the team, and just competing really hard. I’m proud of our Cobras.”
After closing out their non conference schedule with two wins and a 12-4 record overall, Caldwell Tech turned their attention to their conference schedule. The Cobras opened their conference season in Hudson, NC where they took on Brunswick Community College.
In a Saturday showdown, the Caldwell Cobras bested the Brunswick Dolphins 95-83 to earn a 1-0 mark in Region X conference play. This game also marked the third straight game that the Cobras score 95 or more points, their longest stretch of the season with at least 95 points.
“Overall, I was really pleased with the way our team played in our first games back.” coach Anderson said. “We had some lapses mentally but played extremely hard. Having Chase back has definitely been beneficial as he can bring so many different aspects to the game.”
The Cobras will be back on the hardwood Monday January the 15th at Denmark Tech for a 4pm tip in their second conference matchup, and will return to their home court on January the 20th to take on conference foe USC Salkehatchie.