Straughn holds off Elba for shot at championship

Published 12:27 am Saturday, December 19, 2015

1220-spt-Cole-HarrisThings didn’t start off like Straughn would have liked for them to, but the Tigers continued to fight and battled their way to a 42-40 win over Elba Friday night in the semi-finals of the 49th annual Andalusia Invitational.

Elba got on the board first with a layup from Richmond Singletary, but Straughn quickly tied the game up with a fade-away jumper from Gage Barber.

Johnathon Driver had four points in the opening period for the Tigers, but Straughn trailed 9-6 heading into the second period.

Elba came out in the second period with a quick layup and then a 3-pointer to take 14-6 lead.

After a nearly six-minute dry spell for Straughn, Keaun Samuel got the Tigers on the board with a layup.

Straughn got two more buckets in the second period, one from Jarvaris Samuel with and then Keaun Samuel added a buzzer beater after a steal to cut Straughn’s deficit down to 19-12 at halftime.

Straughn began to climb back into the ball game in the third period, and Allan George got the Tigers off to a strong start with a 3-pointer to cut the lead down to 21-17.

Elba responded with a 3-pointer of their own, and George answered right back with another.

Driver followed with a 3-pointer to leave Straughn trailing 24-23 with four minutes left to go in the third.

Both teams continued to battle it out, and at the end of the third period, Straughn was on top 31-30.

Straughn led for the remainder of the game and held on for a 42-40 win.

Driver led the Tigers with 19 points on the night.

“We didn’t play our style of control basketball in the  first half,” Straughn coach Rusty Andrews said. “The thing I was most proud of was the set that we ran in the second half, I drew that up during halftime and they ran it to perfection. They had never seen it before halftime, and that is a sign of maturity, I hope.”