WEST NORRITON >> They had some legitimate excuses — one key starter was out and it was the second of back-to-back games.
But Norristown High head basketball coach Mike Evans would have none of it.
His Eagles mostly sleepwalked through a 48-38 win over Springfield Tuesday night, and the coach wasn’t exactly in the mood to sing Christmas carols.
“It’s unacceptable,” said Evans after a second-half run broke up what should have been a relatively easy victory. “We have to get better as a group and if we have somebody go down, somebody has to step up.”
That somebody down is Roy Green, who is likely out another two weeks.
And while his absence could explain some of the Eagles lethargy, it couldn’t explain why Norristown was trailing in the third quarter to a Spartans team that, while talented, should have been put away in the first half.
“We played to their level,” said Norristown’s Darryl Carr, who led all scorers with 18 points. “We like to come out hard, get a big lead and win the game early.
“But we were slacking. We weren’t playing ‘Town’ ball.”
The Eagles trailed, 18-16, at halftime and never managed to over the pace of the game, which was dictated by Springfield.
Larry Clark and Quentin Johnson had their way inside, and the Eagles never looked comfortable on offense.
But things changed at the break.
“At halftime, Coach talked to us, and we came out in the second half and played more aggressively.
“We played hard on defense and ran the score up.”
“It was still a game as late as the fourth quarter,” said Springfield head coach Gary Nolan, “but our problem came in the third quarter. We didn’t knock down some shots and they were able to get into the lead.
“Once (Norristown) got the lead, they were able to take advantage of us with their defense and athleticism.”
The Eagles put together a mini-run in the third, keyed by Carr and Tyrique Lyons (15 points) and the defense of Desmond Gorski and Amir Carter.
They carried a six-point bulge into the final period, and the Spartans couldn’t rebound.
Carr and Lyons split 10 fourth-quarter points and Norristown won going away.
“We played last night, so this was kind of expected,” Evans said, “but it’s still unacceptable.
“We didn’t start out at our tempo, but once we added pressure in the second half we were able to take a comfortable lead.”
Evans said the Eagles would continue to work in practice to get the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed.
“We’ll continue to work in practice to get things going in the right direction,” Evans said. “We have to start playing harder from the start of the game.”
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