WILDCATS FINISH STRONG: Florala knocks off Kinston for shot at area title
Published 12:05 am Wednesday, February 7, 2018
The Florala Wildcats earned a spot in the Class 1A, Area 2 championship game after defeating the Kinston Bulldogs 64-50 on Tuesday in Florala.
The win by Florala guarantees the Wildcats a spot in next week’s sub-regional for the first time since 2007.
Florala grabbed the lead right out of the gate when Anthone Stone buried a 3-pointer to start the contest.
Following a Kinston basket, Rashaad Coleman put the Wildcats up 6-2 when he knocked down a shot from downtown.
The Wildcats continued the hot outside shooting when Coleman knocked home another 3-pointer to give Florala a 10-2 lead.
Kinston began to surge and cut deep into the Wildcats’ lead.
Another bucket from Stone and free throw from Shun White, gave the Wildcats a 13-12 lead heading into the second period.
Stone got a steal to start the second period and was fouled while going up for a layup.
The Wildcats’ full-court press defense began to rattle the Bulldogs as a steal from Lee Stewart then earned Florala another trip to charity stripe.
Stewart knocked down both free throws to put the Wildcats up 16-12.
The Wildcats added to their lead moments later with a layup from White.
Kinston battled back with a couple of big shots to cut the lead down to 18-16.
Florala then got three-straight baskets from Mekhi James and Coleman to go up 24-16.
At halftime, the Wildcats were on top 26-22.
Kinston opened the third period with a quick bucket and trimmed the Florala lead down to two points.
The Wildcats then caught fire with buckets from James, Coleman and White to push Florala up to a 32-26 lead.
James then drew a foul as he made a basket, and knocked down the and-one opportunity to put the Wildcats up 38-29.
Coleman followed with a 3-pointer to put the Wildcats up 41-29 heading into the final frame.
The Wildcats continued to surge in the fourth period as the pulled out to a 64-50 victory.
Coleman led the Wildcats with 28 points.
White tacked on 12 points and James finished the night with 10 points.
“This is a big win for our program,” Florala head coach Troy Stewart said. “It’s been a long time since we have made it out of the area tournament.”
Stewart said that he was pleased with the way that his team played.
“We came out not playing well,” Stewart said. “We made some adjustments to our offense and defense, and I think that really helped us in the second half. Give Kinston credit. They had a good game plan and they came out to play.”
The Wildcats will take on Houston County in the Area 2 championship game on Friday at 6 p.m., in Florala.