Warhawks top Straughn

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Straughn’s JD Driver tries to find an open opportunity to dribble around Daleville’s Darwin Mason Saturday night. The Tigers lost 58-54. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Careless mistakes and turnovers for Straughn cost the Tigers a 58-54 loss to Daleville on Saturday night.

Throughout the contest, both teams kept the scoring difference within single digits, as the lead changed on a frequent basis.

The Tigers had the upper hand early on, taking an 11-9 lead after the first period. DHS came back and rolled to a 31-25 lead at the break.

Straughn’s best eight minutes came in the third period, where the Tigers outscored the Warhawks 13-6 to lead 38-37 going into the fourth.

SHS fell to 13-5 on the season. Straughn will compete for the right to host the area tournament on Friday at home against Excel.

With a 46-45 lead and more than three minutes to go in the final period, Daleville leading scorer Robert McGirt took advantage of a pair of missed SHS free throws and converted on the other end to give the Warhawks a 47-46 advantage.

JD Driver, who had 13 points and five assists for SHS, drove the lane on the offensive end to go up 48-47 on the Tigers’ next offensive possession.

On defense, the Tigers crowded the hole and Daleville’s Co Co Hayes managed to squeak in a 3-ball play on a drive that left many scratching their heads. Hayes made the free throw and Daleville led 50-48 with 2:12 to go.

To make things worse for SHS, McGirt snuck in a steal just past half-court and got the layup on the fast break and DHS led 52-48 to take its third-biggest lead of the night.

Daleville called a timeout and Straughn’s Brice Scott was fouled right after the intermission. Scott made one free throw to cut the game back to three points. Then, the Tigers took a timeout to regroup.

Daleville’s Jacques Coleman got a drive to the hole to increase the lead to 54-49.

Straughn didn’t back down as Driver found Scott on the perimeter for a 3-pointer to cut the game back to 54-52 with one minute remaining.

Nothing much happened for the first 30 seconds of the final minute, but DHS guard Debo Bloodsaw was fouled and made the front-end of a 1-and-1.

When the second free throw missed, Driver leaped for the ball, where it was called a jump ball by the referees.

DHS called a timeout with 27.1 left and increased the lead after the short break on McGirt’s front-end bucket of a 1-and-1.

“It’s just the little things we still have to clean up for us to be a good ball team,” SHS coach Rusty Andrews said about the loss.

Scott found Straughn leading-scorer Hobie Hughes for an up-and-in, and with 6.4 seconds left, the Tigers took a timeout while trailing 56-54.

McGirt was quickly fouled after and made his final two free throws to ice the game and give the Warhawks their third win over Straughn. The Tigers fell to 0-3 on the series.

Straughn had perfect pace from the start of the game as Hughes dominated the inside off nice passes from Rollin Kinsaul, Driver, Devin Scott and Chase Short.

Early in the second period, McGirt drained back-to-back 3-pointers and got another to go to give the Warhawks a 19-14 lead with more than five minutes left in the first half.

Hughes tied the game up at 19-all after making a jumper while being triple-teamed by Daleville’s athletic defense.

Driver later dished the ball to Kinsaul to make it 21-20; and McGirt got a 3-ball play on the next offensive series to put DHS ahead 23-21.

McGirt got another 3-ball play and added a 3-pointer later in the second period to help lead his team to the six-point lead at halftime.

McGirt scored 22 of his 40 points in the first half.

More play on the inside and a sweet pass from Brice to Nick Stepp cut Daleville’s 33-30 lead by one after a 6-0 run in the third period.

With time dwindling, McGirt got a 3-pointer and Brice answered to put SHS up 38-37 going into the final period.

DHS led 43-40 with more than six minutes left, but Kinsaul banged in a trey of his own to tie the game up with 5:34 on the ticker.

Brice later got a trey to give SHS its biggest lead in the fourth period.

Andrews said he was proud of the team’s effort against such a physical and quick team.

“When you play teams that are so athletic, you only get one or two chances at them,” he said. “You have to play almost a picture-perfect ball game and that’s difficult to do against pressure like they can put on you.

“I was proud of the guys,” he said. “They did everything we asked them to do. We just couldn’t make the plays down the stretch when we needed to.”

Hughes led SHS with 18 points and had five rebounds. Brice had 10 points, six rebounds, six assists and was 4-of-6 from the perimeter. Devin Scott had four rebounds.

In B-team action, Daleville won 44-31.

Tucker Lawless led Straughn with 15 points.

J. Hinton led DHS with 17 points.