Tigers claw on Wildcats

Published 12:12 am Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Red Level Tigers used a full-court press to force the Florala Wildcats into early turnovers, on the way to an 84-34 win Friday night in Red Level.

Red Level jumped out to a 48-11 lead at halftime.

“We felt like if we could put some pressure on the ball and not allow Florala to set up its offense that we’d have an advantage,” Red Level coach Fred Kelley said. “We wanted to force them to play at our tempo. Florala had a number of shots that didn’t go in, however; I don’t think the score was indicative of how both teams played.”

Red Level (9-4) led 18-4 after the first quarter and 62-23 after the third quarter.

The Tigers, who characteristically shoot from the perimeter, were forced to go inside by Florala’s defense. Red Level had just one 3-pointer in the first half.

“Coach Garner does a really good job with his team and they came right out and defended our shooters tonight,” Kelley said. “We were forced to go inside more often, but our forwards really stepped up their play.”

Sophomore Nick Dorsey led the Tigers with 16 points. Luke Sharp added 15 points and Preston Ryce added 12.

“Nick and our bench players really stepped up tonight,” Kelley said. “The coaches always try to challenge our guys every game to make improvements.”

Dustin Hinson led Florala (0-9) with 10 points.

The Tigers will host Highland Home Monday night and then host their Christmas Tournament starting Dec. 26.

“We want to finish strong against Highland Home and play well in the tournament,” Kelley said. “We’d like to get Kyle Nolen healthy and back to full speed by the start of area play.”

In the girls game, Red Level defeated Florala 43-36. Starla Jones had 20 points to lead the Lady Tigers and Chelsea Davis led the Lady Wildcats with 16 points.