Opp Bobcats hold off Wildcats

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Opp Bobcats pulled out a buzzer-beating 58-56 win over the Florala Wildcats on Friday night in the 52nd Annual Andalusia High School Invitational Christmas tournament.

Both teams battled back-and-forth before Bryan Matthews knocked down a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bobcats the win.

With two seconds left on the clock, the Bobcats inbounded the ball to Matthews who found an open look buried the 3-pointer to give the Bobcats the victory.

“It all starts right there,” Opp head coach Willie Edwards said. “You want to play close games and try to pull it out at the end. The amazing thing is that we called that play. Truthfully, I asked a question today to the guys to write on sheet of paper who that want taking the shot with five seconds left on the clock. We had 11-of-12 players say they wanted the guy who shot the basketball and Bryan (Matthews) shot a good shot.”

Edwards said it was a hard fought win for the Bobcats.

“We are playing rocky right now,” Edwards said. “We play good, we play bad, we play good and then play bad. It was a good, hard-fought win. We played a very talented Florala team. We are starting execute and guys are playing hard and buying into what we are doing.”

Florala got on the board to start the game with a quick free throw from Rashaad Coleman.

Opp responded with a layup from Erik Matthews to go up 2-1.

E. Matthews and Caleb Hinton came on strong for the Bobcats as they took a 14-11 lead into the second period.

Florala cut into the lead in when Coleman hit a pair of free throws to start the second period.

B. Matthews then put Opp up 17-14 with a 3-pointer.

The Bobcats continued to mount their lead as a bucket from River Day put Opp up 24-15.

Florala followed with a 3-pointer from Coleman.

Florala chipped into the Opp lead when Lee Stewart grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in for two points.

Harold King then knocked down a 3-pointer to give Opp a 30-21 lead going into halftime.

Shun White got things rolling for the Wildcats in the third period as they continued to fight their way back into the game.

The Bobcats kept playing strong defense and went up 45-36 going into the final period.

In the fourth period, Mekhi James got things off to a blistering start as the Wildcats came charging back into the contest.

James had a 3-pointer and several free throws to cut the Bobcat lead down to three points.

With 3:08 left in the game, Stewart hit a 3-pointer to tie the game 53-53.

White followed with a basket to put the Wildcats on top 55-53.

Opp tied the game with 1:45 left when Hinton hit a pair of free throws.

Florala took the lead back when Coleman hit a free throw, but B. Matthews would go on to hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Opp a 58-56 victory.

With the win, the Bobcats will take on Red Level tonight at 4:30 p.m.