Andy Slaughter has seen this all play out before. As soon as he steps onto the court, a defender -- whose sole job is not to let him touch the ball -- is in his face. The Santa Fe senior guard doesn’t let it bother him, though, because he knows that is only going to allow his little brother, Auden, and others to take full advantage of their opponents’ defensive shortcomings.

While it took a little longer than normal for the Wildcats on Monday night, the Slaughters, along with Colton Steward, made Mt. Pleasant pay for their aggressive and physical defense in a 68-49 home court win.

Mt. Pleasant jumped out to a quick lead with a Nick Brown 3-pointer and led 10-9 with just over two minutes to play in the first quarter.

“This was a good game for us that I’m glad we got early,” Wildcats’ coach Brad Slaughter said. “They are really athletic and got us out of our rhythm early. They brought the energy to us.

“They’re the best team we’ve played so far; most physical for sure.”

Trailing by a point in the first, Macon Adkison and Steward knocked down 3-point shots of their own and overcame the deficit, taking an 18-10 lead to the second when Auden Slaughter nailed a trey to open the quarter. Santa Fe reeled off a 16-3 run over 3:13 and never looked back.

How does Andy Slaughter take the role of decoy over star scorer?

“I love it,” he said. “I just get to run around and watch those guys play. It’s pretty cool.”

He finished with 10 points in the game, six of those coming on free throws, while little brother dropped 22 to lead all scorers.

“He’s fun to watch. When he gets hot, it’s hard to stop him,” Andy said.

Head coach Brad Slaughter is the father of the pair of brothers, and the family affair is something the three got a small taste of at the end of last season when Auden moved up to varsity following his middle school season.

Now, though, there will be a full season with the freshman and senior boys led by dad, err--coach.

“Getting a chance to play with my brother is really cool,” Auden said. “We did it last year a little bit, but this is the first year we are playing together all season, and I want to get a championship for us.”

In the second quarter of Monday’s game, Auden was the only Wildcat to hit a field goal. His two 3-pointers and 10 points were what kept Mt. Pleasant from mounting any type of comeback, despite missing 13 free throws and having three technical fouls called on his team in the half.

Adkison and Steward were each assessed technical fouls, one for intimidation and the other for something more subtle. Both of which came after hard fouls from Mt. Pleasant, who played physical the entire first half. Brad Slaughter was also assessed a technical foul for voicing his displeasure consistently from the bench following one of the earlier technicals.

“They got after us in the first half,” Brad said. “We don’t want to make mistakes like getting technical fouls, but I thought our kids responded well.

“We took a timeout and cleared our heads, and felt like only us could beat us.”

The Tigers were able to close the gap to 35-27 at the half, though much of that was due to the poor free throw shooting performance from the hosts. Coming out of the break, though Santa Fe outscored Mt. Pleasant 17-7 in the third quarter to take a commanding lead. The Wildcats closed the third quarter with a 9-0 run, which all but put the game away.

“Coming out of halftime we looked really good,” Brad said. “We struggled to get it early, but we talked about slowing down and when we got into our offense slowly and then got the ball to our key guys, it opened up for us.”

The Wildcats take the week off and return next Tuesday at home against Zion Christian, while Mt. Pleasant hosts the Eagles on Tuesday.

Experienced duo leads Lady Cats over Mt. Pleasant

Emmy Bates and Elise Adkison combined for 42 points, including 21-of-23 from the free throw line to lead the Lady Cats to a win over Mt. Pleasant Monday.

Adkison finished with a double-double, pulling in 14 boards.

A lackluster first quarter ended with Santa Fe ahead 11-2 behind just two field goals, but the Lady Cats were 7-of-7 from the line in the period. The offense broke out, however, starting at the first quarter horn when Gracie Mills put in a buzzer-beater for the Lady Cats.

Santa Fe continued the run and pushed their lead to 21-8 before Mt. Pleasant’s Maggie Simpson put the Lady Tigers into double figures with 1:30 to play in the half.

Coming out of halftime, Mt. Pleasant found some offense, but couldn’t string together any stops on defense to cut into the lead. Santa Fe led 44-23 going into the fourth quarter, but coach Jonathan Slaughter was critical of his team’s focus coming out of the break.

“We lost some of that defensive focus in the second half, and gave up 28 points after just 10 in the first half,” he said. “We’ve got plenty to work on.”

Mt. Pleasant was led by Addison Workman with 15 points, while Simpson added nine in the game.

Santa Fe boys 68, Mt. Pleasant 49

MP 10 17 7 15 -- 49

SF 18 17 17 16 -- 68

Mt. Pleasant (49) -- Keevan Cooper 2, Nick Brown 9, Chandler Hughes 3, Chris Andrews 7, DeMarkus Brandon 6, Hayden Holt 8, Gavin Alderson 2, Bennett Hughes 4, Hardin Hughes 4, Kahill Horton 4

Santa Fe (68) -- Macon Adkison 9, Auden Slaughter 22, Tanner Bryan 4, Colton Steward 16, Andy Slaughter 10, Landon Evans 1, Andrew Graves 2, Austin Hazlett 2, Bowman Ruch 2

3-pointers -- Mt. Pleasant (2) - Brown, Brandon; Santa Fe (5) - Au. Slaughter 3, Adkison, Steward

Santa Fe girls 67, Mt. Pleasant 38

MP 2 8 13 15 -- 38

SF 11 16 17 23 -- 67

Mt. Pleasant (38) -- Ayanna Jones 1, Maggie Simpson 9, Addison Workman 15, Baleigh Gray 8, Kiyanna Armstrong 5

Santa Fe (67) -- Gracie Mills 8, Elise Adkison 19, Emmy Bates 23, Aniston Slaughter 5, Hattie Hedrick 6, Chaslyn Stewart 4, Zoe Crutcher 2

3-pointers -- Mt. Pleasant 0; Santa Fe (3) - Bates 3

Chris Yow has served as the managing editor for the Trussville (Ala.) Tribune and, most recently, the Spring Hill Advertiser News. He has worked as a sports editor and has covered high school sports in different capacities for 18 years.

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