Florala, Straughn split hardcourt contests

Published 11:00 am Saturday, December 2, 2023

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Florala and Straughn met for a varsity basketball doubleheader on Tuesday, Nov. 28, and came away with a split.

Straughn built a double-digit lead and withstood a late push by Florala for a 44-36 win in the varsity girls’ matchup.

Abbi Boldin gave the Lady Wildcats a 3-2 lead and scored five points in the opening period. Allyx Williamson had four points as Ora Hall added a three-pointer and gave the Lady Tigers a 7-5 lead after one.

Kyndra Anthony evened the score at 7-7 with a pair of free throws early in the second quarter. Straughn then went on a 10-0 run sparked by four points each from A. Williamson and Hall. Aubrey Pittman stretched the lead to 17-7 with a basket, but Anthony got Florala back within striking distance on a basket and free throw. Maddie Williamson finished the half with a bucket and two from the line for a 21-10 halftime lead.

Both teams came out with strong offensive showings in the third period. Anthony led the charge with eight points. Alyssa Thames and Boldin each found the hoop from long range for the Lady Wildcats. Hall and A. Williamson both scored six points in the frame, while Pittman scored another basket. Despite being outscored by one, the Lady Tigers maintained their double-digit lead and took the score to 34-24 at the end of the third.

Boldin kept up her hot shooting from beyond the arc with another three in the final period. Anthony went six-of-nine from the foul line, and Ella Caraway banked a three cutting the Florala deficit down to six at 42-36. A. Williamson sank a pair of free throws and notched four in the frame to ice the game for Straughn. Hall, Pittman, and Nevaeh Marshall all found the net in the fourth.

A. Williamson led the Lady Tigers with 18 points and was followed closely by Hall who had 14. Pittman also contributed six points in the win.

Anthony paced the Lady Wildcats with 22 points in the loss. Boldin also delivered a double-digit showing with 11.

Straughn picked up its first win and moved to 1-2, while Florala fell to 2-2 on the year.

“We came into this game with two losses to start the season. The girls started off a little slower than we would have liked in the first half, but we adjusted our offense during halftime and came out ready to score in the second half. We did better on offense in the second half by executing our mid-range shots. Our defense did a decent job, but we just need to do better at rebounding and reducing our turnovers. I’m proud of them for working as a team to get the job done and ending the day with a win. Hats off to Florala for having some really good athletes and overall a great team,” SHS Head Coach Calen Lowery said.

The varsity boys’ game flipped the script as the Tigers took an early lead before the Wildcats battled back and claimed a 46-42 win.

Kaden Wiggins gave Straughn a 3-0 lead before Elijah McMeans, Noah Bryan, and Landon Prescott all hit three-points and built a 9-3 lead for Florala. Joseph Driver and Taylor Sikes sliced the gap to two at 9-7 until Cameron Adams made a three-point play for a 10-9 lead after one.

The Tigers continued to surge in the second and opened up a 20- 13 margin. Five different players scored and were led by Wiggins who hit another three and collected four. Kolton Cauley, Clark Jordan, Saxby, and Adams each picked up baskets. McMeans grabbed four in the period, while Dalton Jackson went three-of-four at the foul line. Bryan added a free throw and brought the Wildcats back within five as the halftime score stood at 22-17.

Florala returned from the break and outscored Straughn 14-7 in the third to change hands. After another basket from Adams pushed the lead to 24-19, Prescott hit a three, and Rayshon Coleman scored his first bucket for a 26-25 lead. Driver later tied the score at 29-29 before Jayden Bradberry used a basket and gave the hosts a 31-29 lead after three.

Parker Black drew the score even at 31-31 with a basket early in the fourth. Coleman came up clutch with five points and stretched the lead back out to five at 39-32. Sikes went three-of-four at the line and got the Tigers within four at 43-39. The Wildcats held on down the stretch and cashed in three more free throws.

McMeans and Coleman tied for the Florala team lead with 11 points in the win. Prescott was next at eight points, while Bryan and Jackson each collected seven. Wiggins was the only Straughn player to finish in double figures with 10 points. Adams and Sikes notched seven and six points, respectively, in the loss.

Florala went to 3-2 on the year, and Straughn fell to 0-2.

Both teams are back in action next week. Straughn will host New Brockton for three games on Monday, Dec. 4, while Florala will travel to Pleasant Home on Tuesday, Dec. 5. Each set of games begins at 4:30 p.m.