Red Level dunks McIntosh, 86-63

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Mobile is the next stop for the Red Level Tigers after an 86-63 win against the visiting McIntosh Demons last night in a sub-regional playoff game.

The Tigers (22-5) had to make a rally at the end of the first quarter to take the lead away from McIntosh (5-17), but never let the Demons go back on top.

McIntosh trailed 6-5 with 6:15 left to play in the opening quarter only to score 6 consecutive points for an 11-6 lead.

McIntosh remained in front until the final minute of the first quarter when Frank Tolbert hit for two with 34 seconds left. His basket gave Red Level a 22-19 lead.

McIntosh answered with two points from Nathan Collins with 11 seconds and trailed the Tigers 22-21 after one period of play.

In the second quarter, the Tigers stretched their lead out to 13 points. Will McInvale had 9 points in the first half of the second quarter to help the Tigers stretch the lead to 7 points.

He got the Tiger fans on their feet with one move to the basket in which in faked out the McIntosh defender, made his shot and was fouled on the play. He quickly canned the free throw for a 35-28 Red Level advantage.

The Tigers added to the lead and went to the locker room with a 45-32 edge.

In the second half, the Tigers turned to Frank Tolbert.

The Auburn signee scored 11 of the Tigers' 16 points in the third quarter. When the horn sounded signalling the end of the third period the Tigers were out in front by a score of 61-50.

Tolbert got everyone one their feet in the fourth quarter, including the McIntosh fans, when he exploded off the block on a missed free throw and attempted to slam it home. The ball was slammed so hard it bounced off the rim, but the fans took notice.

About one minute later, Tolbert came through with a dunk sending the Red Level fans crazy. The dunk counted for two points and gave Red Level an 80-59 lead.

Tolbert attempted one more dunk in the fourth quarter. He tried to do a two-handed reverse slam dunk, but missed.

His missed dunks, however, did not take away from the excitement of a Red Level victory and a trip to the Southwest Regionals.

Red Level earned the trip by cruising to an 84-63 win. Doug West added the final basket with two seconds left in regulation.

Tolbert led all scorers in the game with 31 points. McInvale added 17. Russell Rigdon had 14 points. Larry Hudson scored 12 points. Tim Ryce added 6. West and Malcolm Lawson scored 2 points each.

The Tigers will play the winner of last night's game between Keith and Pickens County at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24

in the Mitchell Center on the campus of the University of South Alabama in Mobile.