March 9, 2006

Tigers Stay Alive With 58-52 Victory Over Knox County

Goals and aspirations are great, but come district-playoff time, the only thing a basketball team can really hope for is to live to play another day. That was exactly what Scotland County did on February 28th as the Tigers knocked off Knox County 58-52 in the opening round of the Class 2 District 5 tournament in Queen City. SCR-I ensured its season would not end on that night, thanks to a second-half rally.

Scotland County jumped out to the early lead behind baskets from Lathan Watson and Cody Musgrove. But the Eagles closed out the first period leading 9-6.

The Eagles kept the momentum intact in the second quarter, never relinquishing the lead en route to a 19-16 advantage at the half.

Scotland County came to life in the second half. Chris Humes scored back-to-back buckets to open the third period and give SCR-I the 20-19 lead. The lead changed hands on six straight possessions as the two squads traded buckets before Lathan Watson scored on a rebound to give SCR-I the lead for good at 26-25 midway through the period.

Grant Blomme hit two jumpers and Matt Wickert made three-of-four free throws to wind down the clock with the Tigers on top 35-30 with just eight minutes left to play.

That same duo started the fourth period with a bang. Grant Blomme drilled a three pointer before Wickert made a steal and went coast-to-coast for the score to force a Knox County time-out with 7:23 left in the game and the Tigers on top by 10 points.

The double-digit lead held up until midway through the period when the Eagles began to peck away at the deficit.

Knox County went on an 11-3 run to pull within 47-45 before Musgrove scored four straight points to give SCR-I some breathing room.

But after SCR-I missed three straight free throws Knox County looked poised to rally. The Eagles trailed just 53-52 with 1:01 left on the clock. After Watson made one of two free throws, Knox had a chance to tie the game. That was before Bryce Blomme came up with a huge steal on the defensive end and hit brother Grant on the fast break for the layup to make the score 56-52 with just 25 ticks on the clock.

The Tigers stole any hope of a Knox County rally as the Blommes again made a defensive stop with Grant putting the icing on the cake with a layup as time expired on the 58-52 win.

Grant Blomme finished with 15 points to lead Scotland County. Matt Wickert contributed 14 points while Bryce Blomme finished with 10 points.

The win sent SCR-I (7-17) into the district semifinals vs. #1 seed Canton.

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