There was no stopping Kevin Cross.
Cross, a 6-6, 240-pound power forward, scored the first 14 points in the Mills Comets' 67-51 victory over the eStem Mets on Tuesday night at the Galaxy in Little Rock.
Cross finished 9 of 11 from the field. He made 4 of 5 three-point attempts and led Mills (12-4, 5-0 4A-5) with 26 points. Senior guard Orion Virden scored 23 for the Comets.
"I was feeling it tonight," Cross said. "I knew I just had to stay focused."
"Kevin can really shoot the basketball, and that was part of the game plan tonight," Mills Coach Raymond Cooper said. "He's had some stretches like he had tonight. Now, the three-pointers, he was really hot. He hasn't done that a lot in games, but he does that a lot in practice. We've been talking about him expanding a little bit, and tonight they gave it to him. He stepped up and made them."
Sophomore guard Mehki Perkins led eStem with 13 points.
Cross' three-point shot and three-point play on consecutive possessions gave Mills a 35-17 lead early in the third quarter, but eStem (15-8, 4-2) followed with an eight-point run. Senior guard Jacob Profit's layup put eStem within 35-25 midway through the third and led to a timeout by Cooper.
"It was bad defense," Cooper said. "We were leaving their best shooters wide open, uncontested, and we've had that problem, having leads late in the game and then relaxing on defense."
Mill increased its defensive pressure and drove its lead to 42-26 after a layup by senior point guard Brandon McCrary with 49 seconds left in the third quarter.
McCrary finished with 11 points.
"They're a really good shooting team," Cooper said. "They can get hot at any point in time. With the three-point shot, it doesn't take any time at all for a team to get back in the game, and we have to know that."
Sports on 01/09/2019
Print Headline: Cross steps up, scores 26 in Comets' victory