February 19, 2004

Raidersí Big Man Towers Over Tigers In 56-40 Defeat

Cody Stoneburner is an imposing presence in the middle of the North Shelby lineup. While most teams worry about stopping the 6í8Ē center on offense, the Scotland County Tigers learned the junior is a force on the defensive end as well.

Stoneburner blocked a dozen shots and altered twice as many more as he played havoc with the Scotland County offense in a 56-40 defeat of the Tigers in Memphis February 11.

The big man in the middle allowed North Shelby to play an extended zone defense that stymied SCR-Iís scoring all evening. After falling behind 14-9 in the first period, the Tigers could not solve the North Shelby defense at all in the second period, with the teamís only two points coming from the free throw line. That allowed the Raiders to build a 26-11 lead.

Senior Aaron Dale took charge of his team in the third period, telling them to jump on his back. He nearly single handedly brought the Tigers out of the depths scoring nine straight points to open the third period. A three-point play by Danny Roach suddenly had SCR-I within three points at 28-25.

But North Shelby weathered the storm in big part due to the play of Scott Ratliff. The Raiders quarterback showed his leadership skills as he helped fend off the SCR-I rally with a couple of key scores. That allowed North Shelby to rebuild the advantage to double digits at 37-29 to close the period.

A pair of baskets by Dale early in the fourth quarter gave the Tigers one last ray of hope but Ratliff again dashed it as he was perfect from the free throw line down the stretch.

North Shelby escaped with the 56-40 win to improve to 14-5 and a perfect 4-0 in league play setting up a likely conference championship match up with Putnam County this week. Ratliff led the way with 26 points and Stoneburner finished with 17.

Scotland County returned to the .500 mark at 10-10, 2-2. Dale led the Tigers with 21 points. No other Tigers had more than five points.

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