January 22, 2004

Tigers Ground Cardinals In Final Seconds To Hold On For 53-52 Win

There were probably a few blue faces in the crowd January 13 in Memphis as the Scotland County fans had to hold their breath on three separate inbounds plays in the final nine seconds of the game.

South Shelby was unable to convert on the trio of attempts and Scotland County held on to upset the Cardinals (8-4) by a final score of 53-52.

That was a big win for these guys, Coach Ryan Brown said. South Shelby is a good team. We needed a win like this to get some confidence going.

After a quick start to the first period, Scotland County saw a 10-8 lead turn into a 14-10 deficit as they were unable to score in the final three minutes of the quarter.

The offense continued to stall in the opening minutes of the second quarter.

But a pair of buckets by Greg Neagle followed by a score from Nick Oldham seemed to get Scotland County back into the contest. The momentum took a hit however as South Shelby hit a long three pointer at the buzzer to build a 33-24 halftime lead.

The Tigers came out of the intermission looking like a different team.

Jared Shelley got things rolling with a reverse lay up that got the home crowd back into the game.

Aaron Dale and Neagle then combined for 10 points in the third period. A tip-in by Clint Cottrell forced a South Shelby timeout but the damage was done as the Tigers trimmed the Cardinals lead to 39-38 with just eight minutes to play.

Shelley gave his team its first lead since early in the first quarter when he drilled a jumper to start the final period.

The Tigers hit some key free throws while the Cardinals struggled at the charity stripe down the stretch. Dale and Danny Roach each hit a pair of free throws. But it was Neagle that came up with the even bigger buckets. He scored on back-to-back possessions to stretch the SCR-I advantage to 48-41.

The Cardinals didnt fold. They held SCR-I scoreless over the next three minutes and cut the lead to 49-48 with 59 seconds left in the game.

Roach hit one of two free throws but was able to get his own rebound off the miss. He found Neagle inside for an easy score.

But the four-point lead was quickly cut to two with a South Shelby score. The Cardinals called timeout with 38 ticks left on the clock to set up their defense.

The two teams traded free throws with South Shelby trimming the deficit to just one point with 11.5 seconds to play. After a jump ball gave the Cardinals the ball out of bounds with 9.8 seconds left in the game, the Tigers denied three separate inbounds plays by the Cardinals to escape with the 53-52 win.

Neagle led all scorers on the night with a season-high 16 points. Dale chimed in with a dozen points while Cottrell and Roach each added eight. Scotland County got back to .500 on the season, moving its mark to 5-5.

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