Summer heat on the hardwood

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Opp’s Erik Matthews goes up for a layup against Andalusia on Tuesday.

Opp’s Erik Matthews goes up for a layup against Andalusia on Tuesday.

Junior high and middle school boys basketball teams from Andalusia, Florala and Opp gathered in Florala on Tuesday morning a summer play date.

The four teams played two seventh grade games and two eighth grade games each. The games were split into two 15-minute halves with a continues clock.

“This was just something we wanted to do,” Florala head coach Troy Stewart said. “For some of my seventh graders, this was the first time they have played in a game. I’m very thankful to Andalusia and Opp for coming down here and playing. This really helps us out and gives us some experience.”

The Wildcats were the big winners on the day, winning both seventh grade games and both eighth grade games against Andalusia and Opp.

Florala and Opp got things started with an eighth grade match, and the Wildcats walked away with a big win in that one.

“We played extremely well today,” Stewart said. “I thought we shot the ball very well. These guys have really stepped up and they are playing like a team.”

Florala’s Rashaad Coleman was on fire all day long and helped lead Florala to all four wins.

In the win 41-16 over Andalusia Junior High School, Coleman had 10 first half points including a pair of 3-pointers.

Dixon Drakkar got the hot hand in the second half of that contest and buried three consecutive treys.

Andalusia and Opp went back and forth in their contest, but it was the Bobcats who came away with a 22-19 win.

Andalusia took a 19-17 lead late in the game, but Opp’s Jayden Lacey went on a tear at the end of the game to give the Bobcats a 22-19 victory.

In seventh grade action, Florala came away with a 42-29 victory over Opp.

Ethan Cox got Opp started strong with a 3-pointer, but Florala countered and took a 12-10 lead at the half.

Opp tied the game 16-16, but Florala’s Coleman popped a step back 3-pointer to go up 19-16.

Opp answered with a their own 3-pointer, but then the Wildcats went on a 9-0 run to take a 28-19 lead.

Back-to-back steals and layups from Cox made the score 28-23, but that was as close as the Bobcats would get it.

The Wildcats continued to build a lead in the second half and came away with a 42-29 win.

“We were able to play two more quality opponents today,” Stewart said. “That’s going to keep getting us better. I’m so thankful to Andalusia and Opp. They are two very successful programs and that is what we want to have at Florala. We just have to continue to improve and continue to play Florala basketball.”