Takin’ care of business

Published 12:04 am Saturday, February 9, 2013

Straughn’s JC Ray drives the court Friday night. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn beats Opp 68-27, advances to area title game against Southside

Straughn’s boys took care of business Friday night, defeating Opp 68-27 in the semifinals of the Class 3A, Area 2 tournament.

SHS went on a 13-0 run in the first 4:25 of the game to take control.

Opp, who started most of its B-team, scored its first two points with 3:02 left on the clock and trailed 22-5 after the first period.

Hobie Hughes found Devin Scott open to start the second period and Jasper Bowdoin laced in a 3-pointer to give the Tigers a 27-5 lead.

Opp’s John Finley drained a jumper to cut Straughn’s lead to 33-15 later in the first half.

SHS led 36-15 at halftime.

“We did what we needed to,” SHS coach Rusty Andrews said. “Anytime you play a team for the fourth time, it’s difficult to get up for it. I was proud of the way the team recognized what they needed to do.”

With this win, Straughn will face Southside Selma — who beat Excel 72-36 — in the area tournament championship on Monday night at 7. This win also guarantees SHS a berth to play in the sub regional next week.

Straughn went on to outscore Opp 17-6 in the third period, thanks to some bench players — namely Brennan Maddox, Chase Short and Nick Stepp — who played a good last part of the game.

While SHS (19-5) had a big lead, Opp didn’t waiver and never quit until the final buzzer.

OHS coach Sterling Driver said he put a few of the younger guys in the game to give the varsity squad some energy.

“They played extremely well in the sense that they gave effort and hustle every play,” Driver said. “That’s what I expected of them. Our defense got better. Straughn had a very good team. I’m not going to take anything away from them.”

JD Driver led SHS with 15 points and added three assists. Brice Scott and Stepp had 11 points each. Maddox chipped in seven points from the bench. Hughes added eight points, five assists and two steals.

Stepp grabbed five rebounds, while Short had six rebounds.

Opp’s Manderious Mount led OHS with nine points.