Florala creeps past Pleasant Home

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2015

Rashaad Coleman glides to the basket.

Rashaad Coleman glides to the basket.

Pleasant Home and Florala’s eighth grade boys’ basketball teams got things started in the second round of the Covington County Junior High basketball tournament Wednesday in Pleasant Home, and it was the Wildcats who came away with a 36-27 victory.

The Eagles got on the board first when Brady Sowards caught a pass that was heading out of bounds and fired up an off-balanced shot that hit nothing but net.

Florala quickly tied the game up with a 2-for-2 trip to the free throw line from Rashaad Coleman.

Pleasant Home then went up by four points with baskets from Brendan Douglas and Sowards.

The Wildcats two more baskets from Logan West and Anthone Stone to close out the first period, but were left trailing the Eagles 10-6.

Kaleb Piland got the scoring started in the second period for the Eagles and then a turn around jumper from Douglas gave Pleasant Home a 14-8 advantage.

Lee Stewart put the Wildcats on his back for a few minutes picking up five-straight points to cut the Pleasant Home lead down to 14-13.

Jacob Price then drove down the court for the Eagles and drained a long 2-pointer to put Pleasant Home up by three.

Florala had a quick answer for the Eagles as Larry Stevens buried a trey tie the game up 16-16 heading into halftime.

Pleasant Home once again opened up the period with a score, but this time it was the only points they would get in the period.

Sowards dropped a bucket off an assist from Piland, but a combination of poor shot selections and lock down defense from the Wildcats shut out the Eagles for the remainder of the third period.

Florala’s offense began to pick up steam and points from Stone and Stewart pushed the Wildcats out front 19-18 heading into the final period.

To start the fourth period, Coleman gave the Wildcats a three-point lead with a quick layup.

Sowards came down the court for the Eagles and dropped a bucket and was fouled in the process. Sowards missed the and-one opportunity and left the Eagles trialing 21-20 with five minutes left in the game.

A 6-0 run from the Wildcats, that ended at the three-minute mark, gave Florala a 27-20 lead late in the game.

Price edged the Eagles back into the game with a long 3-pointer that cut the score to 29-25 with two minutes left.

The Eagles kept on fighting, but Stewart closed out the game with six-straight points to give Florala a 36-37 win.

Stewart led the Wildcats in scoring with 15 points. Stone and Coleman each finished with 7 points.

Sowards led the scoring for the Eagles with 14 points. Douglas and Price each finished with 4 points.

“It’s always tough playing against your former school and teammate,” Florala head coach Troy Stewart said about Pleasant Home and head coach Troy Turman (Stewart and Turman played together at Pleasant Home). “We knew this game was going to be tough one. All respect goes out to Coach Turman and those kids, they have completely turned it around since last year. I was proud of the way my guys played tonight, and I liked how we kept on pushing and did what we needed to do at the end to get the win. Our defense really stepped up and played great in the fourth period.”

The Wildcats will be back in action tonight when the take on the Fleeta Falcons in the eighth grade county championship at 7 in Pleasant Home.