Host Tigers fall to Luverne

Published 12:50 am Saturday, December 29, 2012

“Big Tim” Sims had a big night for Red Level.

The Red Level Tigers fell to Luverne in the quarterfinals of the Red Level Christmas Tournament Friday night, losing a close one, 58-54.

Big nights from Red Level’s K.J. Lawrence and Tim Sims weren’t quite enough for the hosting Tigers to pull off the win in a game that came down to the closing seconds.

Luverne got out to a hot start, pulling out to an early lead, 13-4 in the first quarter.

It was then that Lawrence put the team on his back and started making big plays to will their way back into the ball game.

He nailed a three-pointer out of a timeout, then made another, this time while being fouled.

After he completed the four-point play, the scoreboard read 17-13, Luverne.

Both teams traded threes’ and Luverne got a layup to finish the scoring in the first quarter, and the score at the end of one was 22-16 Luverne.

Lawrence again stepped up big in the second quarter, getting fouled on another three-point attempt.

He was fouled again on the very next possession and made both free throws to cut Luverne’s lead to five, and Spencer Stallworth converted a layup just before the buzzer sounded to bring the halftime score to 32-28.

Red Level came out firing in the second half, starting out on a 6-1 run to take the lead before both teams began trading baskets.

Tim Sims got it going, making several heavily contested layups and popping a smooth mid-range jumper to push the lead to five for the Tigers, but Luverne had an answer for Red Level each and every time.

By the time the third quarter buzzer sounded, everyone in the building was gearing up for an exciting finish, and Red Level clung on to a 46-45 lead going into the fourth.

A K.J. corner three was the answer to a Luverne fast break dunk, but the visiting Tigers just wouldn’t go away.

They ripped off six straight points to take the lead, 53-51, but Stallworth tied it up again at 53 with a jumper from in close to the basket.

Later in the game, Luverne found themselves up by a point with possession of the ball and only one minute remaining.

They ran the clock down to 30 seconds before being fouled, and made one half of the two foul shots.

Red Level then had a chance to tie the game, but missed their final shot.

Luverne grabbed the rebound and threw the ball down the court for an easy layup to end the game with the final score of 58-54.

Lawrence led all scorers with 27 points and Tim Sims followed close behind with 16.

Red Level will play at 4:30 this afternoon in the third place game.

The Red Level girls’ team lost as well on Friday, falling to the Straughn ninth-grade girls score of 41-28.

Shelby Holley was Red Level’s leading scorer, chipping in 15 points in her team’s losing effort.