March 10, 2005

Tigers Season Ends In 87-76 Loss To LaPlata

The hopes of extending the basketball season just one more game did not look good for the Scotland County Tigers. SCR-I fell behind 19-3 in the opening minutes of the teams first round contest against LaPlata in the Class 2 District 5 Tournament held in Queen City.

The Tigers, the sixth seeded team in the contest, saw their hopes of an upset of #3 LaPlata, quickly slipping away. The Bulldogs diminutive, but multitalented tandem of twin guards, David and Matt Fouch, sparked the LaPlata squad to the impressive start. David Fouch had 12 points in the games first two minutes before being forced to the bench with two fouls.

Scotland County turned things around with a 16-4 run to close the first period. Jared Shelley hit back-to-back buckets to get the rally started. After Cody Musgrove scored in the paint, Nathan Watson hit a jumper to cut the deficit to 19-11. Shelley then hit a pair of three pointers before Grant Blomme came up with a steal and went coast-to-coast for the score to bring the Tigers within 23-19 to end the first period.

The two teams traded buckets to start the second period before LaPlata expanded its lead to eight points midway through the quarter.

Once again the Tigers rallied. Greg Neagle drilled a three pointer and followed it up with a basket in the paint. After a couple of free throws by Matt Wickert it was Bryce Blomme knocking down a three pointer that tied the contest. Blomme kept the score knotted at 39-39 with a bucket on the fastbreak just before the buzzer.

The turnaround came full circle to start the third quarter as Wickert scored in the paint to give SCR-I its first lead of the night, 41-39. The lead went back and forth as the two teams traded points the remainder of the period.

Neagle hit another three pointer with 2:49 left in the third quarter to put the Tigers ahead 55-53. But a three-point play by Matt Fouch put LaPlata on top 61-59 heading into the games final eight minutes.

The Bulldogs lead grew to five points early in the fourth period. But the Tigers crashed the boards and got scores from Chris Humes and Neagle on offensive rebounds. Humes second score of the period put the Tigers ahead 68-67. Shelley hit a jumper with 4:41 left in the game to keep SCR-I ahead 70-69.

LaPlata then went on a 6-0 run before Neagle scored on back-to-back possessions to keep his team within one point as the clock slipped under three minutes left in the game.

But as the clock ticked away so too did the Tigers season. SCR-I saw the game slip away in the final minutes as LaPlata iced the game at the free-throw line to preserve the 87-76 victory.

The Tigers finished the 2004-05 season with a 3-22 mark. Greg Neagle ended his career in style. The senior went out scoring 19 points in his final game. The Tigers also said farewell to senior Jared Shelley who finished with 12 points on the night. Bryce Blomme had 14 points and Chris Humes finished with 10 points.

LaPlata (16-10) was led in scoring by Matt Fouch who poured in 35 points. Zach Robinson had 29 points and David Fouch had 21 points as the trio combined for 85 of their teams 87 points. They made 32 of 35 free throws in the game.

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