Straughn, Red Level split county basketball rivalry contests

Published 1:00 pm Friday, January 26, 2024

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Straughn hosted Red Level for a pair of basketball games as both teams earned wins during a cross-county rivalry on Thursday, Jan. 25.

Straughn Lady Tigers 58
Red Level Lady Tigers 39

Straughn led from start to finish and claimed its eighth straight win with a 58-39 victory against Red Level in the varsity girls’ game.

Allyx Williamson scored a layup eight seconds into the game before Mariah Crowell put Red Level on the board with a free throw. Ora Hall then started a nine-point Straughn run on a drive to the hoop with 5:57 to go in the first period. Maddie Williamson followed with a three-point play, and A. Williamson added the next four points for an 11-1 lead. Crowell snapped the scoreless drought with a jumper and one-for-two showing at the line. A. Willamson sank a free throw, while Hall cashed in back-to-back buckets as Straughn upped its advantage to 16-4. Amaya Williams and Crowell responded with consecutive threes and cut Red Level’s deficit to 17-10 after one.

Williams trimmed the gap down to four at 17-13 with an opening three in the second period. Straughn countered with three straight baskets from Blakeley Smith, A. Williamson, and Hall and took a 23-13 lead. Crowell delivered a layup as A. Williamson knocked down two straight baskets. Zoey Phillips then went one-of-two at the line for Red Level, but A. Williamson sparked the offense further with six more points before the break. Williams converted three free throws and set the halftime score at 33-19.

Tori Canant led off the second half with a bucket, and M. Williamson buried a jumper. Ke’Mariah Crittenden went off the glass for two and sliced Red Level’s deficit to 37-21. Bryleigh McBride torched the net with two trifectas, while Hall and A. Williamson also found the hoop and gave Straughn a 47-21 lead. Crowell capped the frame with a layup and three-point play as the score stood at 47-26 after three.

Red Level received a free throw by Williams and three points from Crowell early in the final period. Hall and Canant followed with consecutive baskets, and Annlee Wise swished a three for a 54-30 advantage. Williams and Crowell combined for the next nine points. Emma Eaton posted the final four points for Straughn.

A. Williamson led Straughn (17-6) with 22 points, while Hall also posted a double-digit effort with 12. McBride and M. Williamson notched six and five, respectively, in the win.

Crowell paced Red Level (7-9) with 24 points, and Williams finished the outing with 12.

Red Level Tigers 49
Straughn Tigers 48

Red Level averted the doubleheader sweep and edged Straughn late for a wild 49-48 win in the varsity boys’ contest.

Joseph Driver began the scoring with a layup until Javen Poindexter hit a long three. Layne Grantham followed with a basket as Dominic Williams Jr. earned a field goal. Parker Black gave Straughn a 6-5 lead with an offensive rebound and bucket, but Poindexter scored five straight points and put Red Level in front 10-6 with 3:39 to go in the first. Driver cut the deficit to one with a triple, while Grantham cut loose on a fast break dunk for an 11-10 lead. Poindexter delivered a three-point play, and Williams went one-of-two at the line for a 14-11 lead after one.

Driver immediately tied the score at 14-14 with a quick three in the second. Poindexter followed with a pair of free throws until Grantham executed a nifty drive to the hoop for a 16-16 tie with 6:01 left in the first half. Red Level seized momentum back with a seven-point swing that saw Poindexter score five. Williams pushed the lead to 23-16 off a jumper at the 3:34 point. Taylor Sikes then sank a three before Justin Patterson made a jumper. Clark Jordan and Black closed the period with back-to-back layups as Straughn rallied back and only trailed 25-23 at halftime.

The third period mirrored the first when the two rivals traded baskets with one another. Black tied the score at 25-25 as Poindexter went two-for-two at the line. Kaden Wiggins found the net for two before Poindexter knocked down a three. Jordan answered with a three-point play and drew Straughn even at 30-30. Kolton Barlow, Patterson, and Williams each contributed a basket as Red Level held a 36-32 lead after three.

Williams pushed the margin to seven with a three in the fourth. Saxby Radford sliced the deficit to 41-37 on a three with 5:16 to go in the game. Wiggins followed with a layup, and Grantham gave Straughn a 42-41 lead with 3:07 remaining. Brown countered with his own three and two clutch free throws as Red Level grabbed a 46-42 lead. Wiggins and Sikes sent the home crowd into an uproar with clutch threes that took the score to 48-46. Confusion ensued with 8.9 seconds left as two technical fouls were called on the home side. Poindexter was sent to the line and missed the first foul shot but converted the following three free throws for the final tally.

Poindexter was the top scorer for Red Level (11-7) with 21 points. Williams chipped in 14 as Brown grabbed eight.

Wiggins finished with a team-high 10 points for Straughn (7-13). Driver and Grantham were next with nine points each, while Black and Sikes had six apiece.

Both teams will conclude their regular season area schedules on Tuesday, Jan. 30. Straughn will host W.S. Neal, while Red Level travels to Pleasant Home.