Momentum swings Selma’s way

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Straughn’s JD Driver (11) goes for the basket Monday night. |                                           Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn’s JD Driver (11) goes for the basket Monday night. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn experienced a momentum shift at the wrong place and at the wrong time.

The Tigers were tied 34-34 with Southside Selma at the 6:01 mark when play was stopped due to blood appearing on SHS center Hobie Hughes’ jersey.

After Hughes put on a new jersey — No. 12 from his normal No. 35 — play resumed after SHS had to burn a timeout. As a result, Hughes missed the front end of a 1-and-1.

The Panthers, then down 35-34 after a Brice Scott free throw, then went on a 12-3 run in the last 4:58 to edge Straughn 46-38 in the Class 3A, Area 2 Championship on Monday night.

“All of the momentum we had stopped right there,” Tigers coach Rusty Andrews said.

Up until time stopped for the jersey clean up, the game was neck and neck throughout, with each team trading possession after possession.

It was tied 14-14 after the first period, and Straughn led 20-19 at the break.

Southside evened the game up in the third period, outscoring the Tigers 11-10 to make it 30-all.

Andrews said the players did exactly what they were supposed to do.

“I was proud of the effort,” he said.

With this loss, Straughn (19-6) will have to travel to Cottage Hill on Friday for the Class 3A South Sub Regional. The Panthers host Bayside Academy.

Straughn didn’t have an answer for the Panthers on the defensive end as Southside Selma’s Jeffery Mack scored six of his 17 points in the final 4:58 of the game.

The Panthers started the game on an 8-0 run, but SHS outscored SHS 14-6 in the last 4:21 of the first period to put the game at 14-all.

Scott cut the game to one at 9-8 with a 3-pointer, and Rollin Kinsaul drained two free throws before getting a floater to go to put it at 14-12.

For the second and third periods, Straughn and Southside Selma traded possessions, which is what Andrews intended to do in the first place.

“I thought we would shoot the ball better than they would, but we didn’t shoot the ball well under pressure,” he said.

In the third period, Hughes made two big plays inside — a turnaround layup that turned into a 3-ball play, and an absorbing an offensive foul call with 2:21 left.

Nick Stepp made a jumper from the free throw line to put the game at 26-25, and Hughes made four free throws, not having missed one for the night to end the third period.

Southside’s Sammarkus Jones made a 3-pointer and Dequan Crawford had a nice spin move to the inside to keep the back and forth effort going.

Stepp made a jumper and JD Driver found Hughes on the inside to give SHS its first four points of the fourth period.

Andrews said in the end, the Tigers didn’t take advantage of an opportunity.

“We did everything we had to do,” Andrews said. “We were in the ball game. We had the opportunity, but we just didn’t take it. We’ll learn from it.”

Driver and Hughes of Straughn made the All-Tournament team. Southside’s Je’Von Hall, Jones and Mack were also selected.

Scott and Hughes had 11 points each.

Driver and Kinsaul had five points, six rebounds and three steals each. Hughes added six rebounds.

Jones chipped in 16 points for SSHS.