Georgiana squeaks past Straughn

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 30, 2016

The Straughn Tigers nearly pulled off an upset on Thursday night in the second round of the Red Level Christmas tournament, but Georgiana was able to hold on for 51-44 victory to send the Panthers into tonight’s championship game.

Georgiana got on the board first in the opening frame, but the Tigers came right back with a pair of buckets from Keaun Samuel and 3-pointer from Justin Peeples to knot the game 6-6.

Straughn then grabbed the lead when Samuel dropped in a layup.

Samuel picked up three more layups in the period, and the score was tied 12-12 heading into the second period.

The Panthers struck first in the second period, but buckets from Samuel and Hank Peeples knotted the game back up 16-16.

Georgiana got a little momentum towards the end of the period and gave the Panthers a 25-22 lead at halftime.

When the third period got started, the Panthers caught fire and extended their lead to 10 points.

Straughn wasn’t going to go away with a fight as they began to scrape their way back into the contest.

H. Peeples and Samuel teamed up to trim the Panther lead down to 37-33 heading into the final period.

In the final frame, James Dean got a layup off of an assist from Samuel to bring the Tigers within two points of the Panthers at 37-35.

The Panthers responded with a 7-0 run to stretch their lead up to nine with less than five minutes left in the contest.

J. Peeples got another 3-pointer for the Tigers, but the Panthers were able to counter every punch Straughn threw at the end and hold on for a 51-44 victory

“We played really hard and executed really well in the first half,” Straughn head coach Bradley Stephens said. “We competed real well tonight. I am proud of how well we competed, but we just have to build on this game and continue to get better.”

Samuel led the way for the Tigers with 23 points in the loss.

With the loss, the Tigers will take on Red Level in the third-place game today at 4:30 p.m.

Keaun Samuel goes up for a block on Thursday night. Josh Dutton/Star-News

Keaun Samuel goes up for a block on Thursday night.
Josh Dutton/Star-News