At the half, Cook and his staff got together and decided what the Patriots would do.
“We told them we were not making any adjustments,” Cook said.
The tough love helped propel Bethesda into an explosive 21-point third quarter effort. Roper led the way, connecting on two consecutive 3-pointers before the Engineers could respond.
McCurry then got into the action with two straight 3-pointers and Bethesda trailed 39-34.
“When we are able to dribble drive and kick the ball out, we are most effective,” Cook said. “I’ve been given in my first year some kids who can shoot the ball from behind the arc.”
At the end of the third, Fall Creek Academy led by eight, 49-41.
Roper went into the fourth with three fouls and very quickly exited the game after picking up his last two within the first 21 seconds of the final quarter. He finished the contest with a game-high 19 points and his shooting was definitely missed.
The departure of Roper was akin to air coming out of a balloon for Bethesda as the Engineers went on a 14-0 run.
“That’s probably my fault for not calling a timeout and pulling us together,” Cook said. “As a first-year coach you make mistakes like that and you live and learn.”
Fall Creek Academy led 63-41 and all seemed lost for the Patriots, but a combined 12 points from McCurry and Deonte Gates pulled Bethesda within 10 with under a minute to play. McCurry finished with 15 points and Gates added 12.
“I give the guys a lot of credit because when you take a punch to the gut like (their run), it’s hard to recover and they did, bringing themselves back with that unselfish brand of basketball that is contagious, fun to watch, produces winning teams and they were able to recapture that,” Cook said.