Wildcats stun Red Level late, march on to regionals

Published 3:30 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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Florala rallied back with a big fourth period and advanced to the next round with a 43-38 win at Red Level in a 1A South Sub-Regional boys’ game Tuesday, Feb. 14.

FHS moved to 21-7 overall on the year, as RLS saw its season close with a 17-6 record.

The two county rivals were nearly even in the first period. The Wildcats took a 3-0 lead after three free throws from Dalton Jackson and Christian Greasham. Caleb Padgett tied the score at 3-3 with a towering trey, and Javen Poindexter gave the Tigers a 5-3 lead with a nifty drive to the hoop. Following several lead changes, Rayshon Coleman capped the opening eight minutes with a jumper for an 11-10 lead.

Dominic Williams Jr. began the second with a three-pointer, while Malikye Wright converted a three-point play and pushed the margin to 18-13. Williams knocked down another trifecta for a 23-13 lead. Greasham pulled Florala within four until baskets by Poindexter and Wright lifted Red Level to a 27-17 lead at the intermission.

Coleman had a bucket in the early moments of the third, and Elijah McMeans made a layup for FHS. Greasham sliced the deficit to 29-25 with a pair of free throws. Poindexter picked up the next four points and helped RLS to a 35-27 lead after three.

Wright gave Red Level a 37-29 lead with a layup before McMeans used a three-point play. Florala pulled within one at 37-36 when Greasham had a basket and two foul shots with 2:31 to go in the game. Jackson sparked the visiting crowd even more with a bucket for a 38-37 lead at the 1:57 point. Tre’Shaun Lane went one-of-two from the line with 12.3 seconds left and pulled the Tigers back to 41-38. After a three fell short, McMeans iced the game with two free throws in the final seconds.

Greasham led all scorers with 18 points and finished eight-of-12 at the line for FHS. Coleman and McMeans had 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the win. Poindexter was the top scorer for RLS with 14 points as Wright added 12.

Florala opens the South Regional at Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum with a contest against Choctaw County on Monday, Feb. 20, at 4:30 p.m.

In other boys’ sub-regional action Tuesday, Andalusia ended the season with a 73-65 loss at Montgomery Catholic. Opp advanced to the next round with a 56-53 overtime win over Providence Christian. Pleasant Home fell at Brantley, 69-54, and ended the season. Straughn lost to Cottage Hill in Mobile, 76-54, and also closed the season.