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SHS boys finish 4th

Straughn’s effort against Paxton, Fla., wasn’t in doubt on Saturday at its Christmas Shoot Out tournament after the Tigers finished in fourth place, falling to the Bobcats 40-39.

“It was a great effort, but we just came up short,” SHS coach Rusty Andrews said. “Our potential is getting better each and every night. We’re learning how to play fundamental basketball.”

Brantley won the tournament title, while Kinston finished in second place.

Austin Pickrel, who led the Tigers with 15 points, was on the receiving end of mutliple assists by Hoby Hughes. Hughes also had a good game scoring 12 points.

Andrews said he was concerned about how his players would come out and play against Paxton given the overtime loss to Kinston the night before.

“Especially after an overtime loss, I was really concerned about the effort,” he said. “I felt like I got exactly what I got out of our young men.”

Straughn cut Paxton’s lead to eight points with 2:32 left in the fourth period on a pair of free throws by Hughes.

The Tigers then took a time out, and with a fresh game plan, Straughn’s Avery Driver hit a three to help his team chip away into Paxton’s lead 40-35.

Paxton would not score another point for the rest of the game, and Straughn clearly had the momentum.

Turnovers and jump balls gave the Tigers plenty of opportunities to seal the win.

With 47 seconds left in the contest, Pickrel hit a lay up, and Straughn took a time out to talk about Paxton’s next offensive possession.

After missing two free throws, a Paxton player fouled Hughes, but on an inbound play, Huggins couldn’t get the jumper.

Earlier in the contest, Paxton had complete control of the game leading 14-4 after the first period, but and Straughn clawed its way back getting to within three points at 22-19 at the break.

In the first half alone, Hughes posted seven points for the Tigers.

After the third period, Paxton led by 10 points at 34-24.