Daleville takes Straughn by 2

Published 12:54 am Friday, December 28, 2012

The Straughn Tigers came up just a bit short Thursday night, losing 48-46 to Daleville in a thriller that went right down to the wire.

Straughn scratched and clawed their way back from a nine- point, second-half deficit to make things interesting at the end of the game, but they just didn’t have enough gas in the tank to complete the comeback.

Midway through the first quarter, Straughn’s Brice Scott answered a Daleville three-pointer with a three-ball of his own to retake the lead, 7-6.

Straughn would hold on to a slim lead throughout most of the remainder of the first half, but Daleville capitalized on a Straughn turnover and converted the fast-break layup with 20 seconds left in the second quarter to take a 16-16 tie into halftime.

Though the first half was an extremely low-scoring affair, Daleville came out firing to open the second.

Straughn big-man Hobie Hughs ended the Warhawks’ 9-0 run with an and-one layup.

After making the foul shot, Daleville’s lead was cut to six, 35-29.

A Daleville wing-man opened the fourth quarter with a deep three-pointer, but Hughs answered yet again with an impressive hook shot in the post, followed by a three from Scott to put the Tigers within six points of the Warhawks lead again, 42-36 with 5:27 left in the game.

Later in the fourth, Daleville junior Aaron Cope rocked the rim with a put-back slam that was noticeably appreciated by the entire gym.

But he was just getting started. On the ensuing inbound play by Straughn, Cope stole the pass and immediately passed to a teammate under the basket who lobbed an “alley-oop” back to Cope, who viciously slammed it home and brought the crowd to its feet.

But Straughn didn’t allow the momentum generated by Cope’s dunks to put them out of contention for the game, however, and Rollin Kinsaul made a three-pointer with 1:32 remaining to cut Daleville’s lead to 43-37.

Seconds later, Scott nailed yet another three to inch closer to a comeback and bring the score to 48-46, Daleville.

Straughn then forced a Warhawk turnover, but Hugh’s potentially game tying shot from in close rolled around the rim and out to seal the Tigers’ fate.

Daleville missed its ensuing foul shot, but grabbed the offensive rebound to run out the clock and ensure a Warhawk win, 48-46.

Straughn head basketball coach Rusty Andrews took the blame for the close loss.

“We didn’t handle the pressure well at the end of the first half. We turned it over six times right there,” Andrews said. “These guys played hard, but we just came up a little short. That was a coach’s loss, not the ball players.”

Daleville advances to the winners’ bracket to face Georgiana today at 4:30 p.m., while Straughn will play Opp today at 1:30 p.m. in the consolation bracket.

Georgiana defeated Opp on Thursday by a score of 54-42.

JaKeith Edwards, Dyrian Savage and Manderious Mount were the leading scorers for the Bobcats, all scoring 11 points apiece.