Straughn tops Opp

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Opp's Derek Savage (left), Straughn's JD Driver (center) and Opp's Ty White run for the ball Tuesday night. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Opp’s Derek Savage (left), Straughn’s JD Driver (center) and Opp’s Ty White run for the ball Tuesday night. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Clutch shots, good ‘D’ in 4th gives Tigers 45-35 win

Straughn’s clutch shooting and pressure defense in the fourth period propelled its Tigers to a 45-35 area victory over Opp on Tuesday night.

It was a tail of two halves for both teams, as each competed for not only a conference, but a rivalry win.

The Tigers weren’t prepared for Opp’s strong attack on defense early, forcing them into doing what they don’t normally do on the court. A 10-0 run for the Bobcats in the third period gave the home team a 28-25 lead going into the fourth period, where things turned in the Tigers’ favor.

“(It was) Very ugly,” SHS coach Rusty Andrews said about the win. “I expected it to be that way. We weren’t ready to play and Opp was ready for us (in the first half and third period). They did a good job defensively on us, shutting down what we like to do.

“We turned it up defensively in the second half, and made enough shots,” he said.

OHS trailed early in the first period, but bounced back to cut the game by one going into the second. The Tigers would then go on to take a 19-12 lead into halftime.

OHS coach Sterling Driver said his boys played hard and followed the game plan well.

“We were going to try to take away their outside shooting threat first, and collapse on their inside,” Driver said. “We played hard. My guys played hard.

“We were up by three toward the fourth quarter. (Andrews) did a good job of adjusting,” the Opp coach said. “He brought them out and put pressure on us so we couldn’t sit back.”

Most of Straughn’s clutch shots in the fourth came on a few 3-pointers from Brice Scott, drives to the basket off of turnovers and late putbacks.

With this win, the fifth-ranked Tigers improve to 11-4 overall, and 2-1 in Class 3A, Area 2. Opp falls to 9-13, and 0-3 in area play.

Straughn’s JD Driver got the fourth period going with a foul shot, and the Tigers tied the game at 28-all when Scott found Rollin Kinsaul off of a steal.

Right out of Opp’s timeout with 7:01 to go, the Tigers attacked again with their pressure as Kinsaul got a steal and converted on the offensive end for a 2-point lead.

The Bobcats gave up another turnover and Scott then hit his first of two 3-pointers to put SHS ahead 33-28.

Opp’s JaKeith Edwards tried to then convert on a steal, but lost the ball to Scott, who then threw to Kinsaul down the court for an easy bucket.

Edwards’ teammate, Dyrian Savage then got a drive to the lane to cut the game to 35-30 with 5:25 left.

SHS then lost the ball, from which Edwards got a deflection and converted to bring the game to 35-32 to force a Tiger timeout.

Kinsaul, regrouped, got a layup, Opp’s Ty White missed two foul shot with 3:48 left and Scott drained his second 3-pointer as SHS led 40-32, effectively putting the game away.

A lasting highlight for OHS came when Cale Pierce made a back-handed pass to Derek Savage, who then laid it in to cut the lead to six.

Scott increased the lead again with his third trey for a 43-34 lead.

“That’s what we needed to do, put more pressure on them,” Andrews said.

Three Straughn players finished in double figures — Scott with 15 points, Driver with 14 and Kinsaul with 12 — to lead the Tigers.

Edwards led OHS with 12 points. Pierce had nine.

“We had a couple shots we had down there we wish we would’ve had,” Driver said. “It kind of changed the momentum.

“I’m very proud of my guys,” he said. “They played extremely well. That’s a big step. I’m definitely looking forward to what we’re doing later on.”

Driver was really proud of the Bobcats in the third period during the 10-0 run.

Derek Savage got a layup off of an Edwards pass after Driver got a layup to push it to 21-12.

Pierce then got a 3-pointer from the left side at 4:12 in the third, and then Walker Messer — an unsung hero for OHS — fought his way to a layup in the paint to edge the lead to 21-19.

Edwards, who had been searching for a made 3-pointer all night, finally got one, which put the Bobcats ahead for the first time in the game with 3:07 left in the third. Opp led 22-21.

“They tried to stop us inside, which gave us a couple good looks on the outside,” Driver said. “We hit a couple shots. That’s why they came out in the fourth quarter to put pressure on us on the outside. We missed a couple shots that might’ve changed the momentum of the game.”

Pierce added another 3-pointer with 1:41 left in the third, and Edwards got OHS leading 28-23 near the end of the third with another trey.

Earlier in the game, Driver made a putback and a 3-pointer to give SHS a 5-3 advantage. Kinsaul then got a drive for a 7-3 lead.

Messer made a drive to the paint to cut the lead to 7-5, and Pierce cut the game to one with a trey with less than 20 seconds left in the first period. SHS led 9-8 after the first.

In B-team action, the Tigers won 27-22.

Jonathan Driver led SHS with 12 points. Jarvaris Samuel chipped in 5 points.

Opp’s Redgie Thompson, who made a 3-pointer at the buzzer of halftime to tie it at 11-all, led the Bobcats with 10 points. Greg House chipped in 7.

Straughn girls 41, Opp girls 29

All wins are good, Lady Tigers coach Scott Kinsaul said about the victory over the Lady Bobcats.

Throughout last night’s contest, SHS kept digging itself in holes because like the boys, Opp had a good plan in place against the third-ranked Lady Tigers’ attack.

“Give Opp a lot of credit for the way they played tonight,” Kinsaul said. “I thought for three quarters, they out-hustled us and out-played us. We just played real well in the fourth quarter. I’m just proud that we won.”

SHS led 8-1 in the first period after Katelyn Kinsaul’s mid-range jumper, but OHS bounced back with a 6-0 run to cut it to 8-7 going into the second.

The Lady Tigers (17-1, 3-0) had no answer for Opp’s Saquaya Lane as the junior forward picked the inside and outside lanes apart for easy layups. Lane was responsible for all six of the points in the early run.

Paige Taylor made a foul shot with 6:04 left in the second, but missed the second which thankfully landed in the hands of Brentley Armstrong to set up a Jacie Williamson 3-pointer with 5:10 left in the first half.

Opp’s Anna Davis got a rebound and putback to cut the lead to 14-11 going into halftime.

The game was still pretty close during the third period.

Straughn’s Emily Wood found Williamson and the Lady Tigers led 16-13.

Opp came back after Asia Edwards made a mid-range jumper to cut it to 21-18.

SHS led 27-22 after the third period.

With more than two minutes remaining, Lane fouled out on a technical foul, which gave Williamson two more foul shots in addition to her first foul. The Straughn junior missed her first two, but made her second to give her team a 37-28 lead.

OHS coach SaRhonda Dickerson said the foul hurt her team’s momentum in the end.

“I was very proud of how they competed tonight,” Dickerson said.

Williamson led SHS with 18 points. Kinsaul chipped in 10 and Taylor had 7.

Lane led OHS with 12, and Edwards had 10.

Straughn will be back in action on Friday at home against Southside in area play. Opp hosts Excel.