Straughn notches 3rd place at RLS tourney

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Straughn's Brice Scott looks for an open man Saturday afternoon at Red Level's Christmas Tournament. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn’s Brice Scott looks for an open man Saturday afternoon at Red Level’s Christmas Tournament. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Elba and Luverne gave the packed audience in the Jimmy Prestwood Gymnasium a game to remember.

Meeting for the second time in a tournament championship in seven days, EHS and LHS duked it out on defense to keep the score low. However, Luverne scored more points down the stretch and ended up with a 42-38 win over Elba to claim Red Level’s 16th annual boys Christmas Tournament Championship.

Last week, LHS defeated Elba to win Andalusia’s annual invitational.

Both teams set the tone of the game early, but LHS led 7-6 after the first period.

Elba started doing what it does best on the inside and after Darrean Burks drove up the middle, the Tigers led 14-12. Burks then got a baseline drive for two and EHS led 16-12.

Luverne’s Donta’ Hall, who people came to see dunk all over EHS, was un-affective in the first half, but did make a one-handed dunk at the buzzer to end the first half.

EHS held a 21-17 lead.

EHS would then take a 29-25 lead into the fourth period.

Luverne’s Quindarius Thagard, whom Elba didn’t have an answer for in the paint, made a foul shot to cut it to one and got a layup off a turnover to help give the Tigers a 33-31 lead. Preston Sankey, a point guard for LHS, tied it up earlier after making the front-end of a 1-and-1.

Trailing 37-34, Burks threaded the needle on a nice pass to Reheem Newson to cut the lead to 37-36.

However, Thagard answered with a layup for a 39-36 lead, which was followed up by a Sankey steal and conversion on the other end.

Elba tried to set up a 3-pointer play, but had to settle for two with less than 30 seconds left.

Thagard got a last drive to cut it to 42-38.

DeAnthony Rutledge led LHS with 13 points. Thagard had 11 points, and Hall chipped in nine.

Elba’s Nick Green led with 14 points. Burks had 13 points.

All-Tournament Team: Malik Jones, W.S. Neal; Spencer Stallworth, Red Level; Devin McMeans, Georgiana; Ty White, Opp; Phillip James, Andalusia; JD Driver and Brice Scott, Straughn; Darrean Burks and Nick Green, Elba; Preston Sankey, Quez Watkins and Donta’ Hall (MVP), Luverne.

Straughn 55, Andalusia 47

Near the mid-way point of the third period, Straughn’s Rollin Kinsaul grabbed a steal and threw it to teammate Brennan Maddox, who then converted on the other end for an easy shot at the bucket.

This short display is what the Tigers gave their fans Saturday as Straughn defeated rival Andalusia 55-47 for the second time this season.

The win for SHS (9-2) garnered it a third-place finish at Red Level’s 16th annual Boys Christmas Tournament.

SHS coach Rusty Andrews said Andalusia a pretty good job of making his Tigers uncomfortable on the offensive end.

“We did a very good job of keeping the ball off the post and he (Andalusia’s Phillip James) still did a good job of scoring 22 points.

“It was a good game for us coming off a loss (to tournament champion Luverne) last night. I was worried about our effort. They did their best, like they always do.”

Early turnovers for AHS seemed to write the script of the loss for the Bulldogs.

Straughn’s Devin Scott, who finished with 10 points, made a jumper to make it 7-2 in the first period.

James then got a turnaround jumper to get it to 8-5.

Brice Scott, who led SHS with 15 points, made back-to-back 3-pointers to end the first with a 15-5 Tigers lead.

AHS didn’t back down at the start of the second with a 7-2 run to cut the game to five at 17-12, forcing the Tigers to take a timeout with 4:05 left in the first half.

James got a steal shortly after the timeout, and passed to Kendarious Townsend for a bucket and a 19-14 score.

Andalusia’s Devante Jackson later got a 3-pointer with less than a minute to go.

JD Driver then answered with a trey at the buzzer to give SHS a 26-19 lead at the break.

The Tigers kept their lead throughout the third period, despite Andalusia bring the game to within three points at three separate instances.

Kinsaul got a drive to the basket for a 32-27 lead.

Andalusia answered a 5-0 SHS run with a jumper, and cut the game to four points on a Townsend drive.

SHS led 37-31 after the third period.

The closest Andalusia got to Straughn’s lead was three points at 37-34 early in the fourth period.

Driver got two drives to the bucket; and Kinsaul scored five quick points to lead the Tigers.

Andalusia’s Montel Lee kept finding James in the paint for good buckets to keep the game honest.

Down the stretch, the Bulldogs did make an honest run at the game.

Other than James, Townsend and Jackson had six points each for AHS.

Kinsaul and Driver added eight points each. Maddox had eight points.

Andalusia was 9-for-13 from the line, while Straughn went 11-for-16.

“We go to practice every day and talk about it and work on it,” AHS coach Richard Robertson said about turnovers. “We’re our own worst enemy. We turned the ball over. Just like when we started the game, we got the tip and tipped it to them.

“We played hard, but we dug ourselves a hole and didn’t get out of it and never led,” he said.

Opp 52, Georgiana 44

Opp’s Ty White shot a new career-high 26 points to help lead the Bobcats to a 52-44 victory over Georgiana Saturday afternoon.

The Bobcats put together a solid game plan on both ends of the floor, isolating players when they needed to and getting shots on the basket at will.

Opp tied the game early in the first, but trailed 16-11 to the mighty Panthers after the opening eight.

GHS kept its lead during the second period, but Opp kept it close to only trail 25-21 at the break.

The Bobcats’ inside presence in the third period and intensity on defense heralded them a 36-33 ball game going into the fourth.

White got an early jumper to start the fourth, and JaKeith Edwards followed with a 3-pointer to make it 39-38.

Orlando Lacey then got a rebound and passed it to Cale Pierce, who drove the lane to give Opp a 40-39 lead — its first of the game.

With a small lead, the Bobcats took it to the house with White and Edwards on offense and the Opp zone scheme on defense.

Lacey chipped in nine points, and Edwards had eight.

Back in the first period, Lacey drained a 3-pointer to tie the game at 5-all.

Georgiana’s Jacquez Payton answered with a trey to give the Panthers back the lead at 8-5.

Edwards started the second with a layup, and the Bobcats cut it to three when White got the old-fashioned 3-point play with 5:44 left in the first half.

Devin McMeans then got a 3-pointer for GHS, and Pierce found White low for the answer.

Opp cut it to 25-21 after Pierce found Lacey on a fast break pass.

Later in the third period, White got a jumper to cut the game to 30-28, and Edwards made a layup to tie it at 30-all.

After the tie, the game went back and forth until the end of the third period.

When Pierce found the lane after Lacey got a pass on transition in the fourth, the Bobcats went on to outscore the Panthers 13-4.

Payton led GHS with 12 points. McMeans had 11.

Red Level 50, W.S. Neal 46

Red Level squeaked over W.S. Neal 50-46 Saturday morning on the final day of its 16th annual boys Christmas tournament.

Spencer Stallworth scored 20 points to lead RLS. Dameyune Scott chipped in eight.

W.S. Neal’s Malik Jones and Treylon Watson had 11 points each.

Red Level led 9-8 after the first period, the game was tied 20-20 at halftime and the Tigers lead 37-26 going into the fourth period.