Straughn outlasts Opp
Published 12:31 am Friday, December 18, 2015
The Straughn Tigers fell behind the Opp Bobcats early in the first period, but battled their way back for a 38-32 victory in the opening round of the 49th annual Andalusia Invitational Tournament Thursday night.
The Bobcats took the first lead of the ball game when Devontae Williams picked up a steal and turned it into a quick Opp basket.
After coming up with a stop, the Bobcats increased their to 5-0 when Ty White dropped in a 3-pointer.
Orlando Lacey then made it a 7-0 game when he banked in a highly-contested layup with three minutes left in the opening period.
Johnathon Driver finally got the Tigers on the board with a 3-pointer with 2:15 left in the first period.
Straughn cut the Bobcat lead down to two when Allan George grabbed an offensive board and went back up for two points.
Lacey then knocked down a trey and Evan King ended the first with a layup to give the Bobcats a 12-5 lead heading into the second period.
Straughn opened up the second period with a quick bucket from George off an assist from Driver to it to 12-7.
King buried a turnaround jumper to put Opp back up 14-7, and then Straughn kicked it into high gear.
A jumper from Driver started the rally and back-to-back 3-pointers from Cole Harris and George gave the Tigers a 15-14 lead.
Gage Barber then put Straughn on top 17-14 off an assist from George with 2:39 left before halftime.
Opp moved within one-point, and then took a 19-18 lead but a basket from the Tigers at the end of the period helped give Straughn a 20-19 lead heading into the third period.
Both teams had trouble getting things started in the third period, and Straughn held a 27-24 lead heading into the final frame.
Lacey got the Bobcats off to a good start in the fourth period, as he grabbed a steal and turned it into an easy two points to make it a one-point game.
Driver then pushed the Tigers’ lead back up to three points with a strong move to the basket.
Williams cut the lead down to two points with a 1-for-2 effort at the charity stripe.
Barber then helped push Straughn’s lead up a little more when he hit 3-of-4 free throws during two trips to the line.
Harris increased the lead to 34-27 after knocking down both ends of a 1-and-1 opportunity.
Opp continued to battle hard with tough basket from Williams and big offensive rebound and put back from King cut Straughn’s lead down to 36-32.
Harris was able to ice the game for the Tigers when he knocked down a pair of free throws to make the score.
Driver led the Tigers with 12 points and George finished with 9 points.
“It was ugly,” Straughn head coach Rusty Andrews said. “Too many turnovers early on, but we settled down and played better towards the end. I was pleased with the way we rebounded tonight… I’m starting to see a few lights come on here and there, but we are still young and dealing with growing pains.”
Lacey led the Bobcats in scoring with 12 points.
“Straughn played really well,” Bobcat head coach Willie Edwards said. “They did exactly what they needed to do to beat us. They out did us at the free throw line, and in a tight ball game that is always a big factor. I thought we did a good job tonight on defense and on the defensive boards. The one thing I want is just for these kids to keep playing hard.”
Straughn moves on to the winner’s bracket to take on Elba tonight at 7.
Opp will match up with Hillcrest-Evergreen at 5:30 today.