January 11, 2007

One Free Throw Eases Pain of Poor Night at Charity Stripe

Seven straight missed free throws nearly came back to haunt Scotland County but it only took one made shot from the charity stripe to send the Tigers into the consolation finals of the Highland Tournament.

Andrew Duley made one of two free throws with just over 13 seconds left to break a 45-45 tie, and SCR-I held off one last offensive series by Unity of Mendon to escape with the 46-45 win over the Mustangs on January 2nd in Highland.

After a sloppy start by both squads, SCR-I settled into a good rhythm midway through the first period. After falling behind 4-2, the Tigers went on a 10-0 run capped off by a bucket by Brandon Garnett to make it 12-4 with 1:16 left on the clock.

Cody Musgrove hit back-to-back shots to start the second period and to extend the advantage to double digits.

The Mustangs were able to trim the deficit to 25-19 at the intermission.

Scotland County looked poised to blow the contest open in the third period. Musgrove sandwiched a three pointer by Andrew Duley with a pair of buckets in the paint to make it 32-21. Kyle Shelley and Travis Trueblood both added baskets as the margin went to 36-23.

But Unity went to a full court press to start the fourth period and the advantage was quickly cut to 38-31 just two minutes into the final period.

With 4:43 left in the game the Mustangs completed the rally, tying the game at 38 courtesy of a 13-0 run that forced a second time out by SCR-I.

Musgrove went back to work, scoring on back-to-back possessions to give the Tigers some breathing room. The senior made the first of two free throws to make the score 43-38 with just over three minutes left in the game.

But his second attempt from the charity stripe would not fall, starting a series of seven consecutive misses from the free throw line for SCR-I, including a pair of front ends on the 1-1 bonus.

The Mustangs also struggled at the charity stripe down the stretch, but Unity was able to pull to within 43-42 before Garnett scored in the paint.

A three pointer by the Mustangs knotted the score at 45 all with 34.9 left to play. Duley made one of two free throws with 13 seconds to play and Unity saw two shots at the game-winner rattle in and out of the rim preserving the win for Scotland County.

The Tigers survived the scare despite going three of 18 from the free throw line in the contest. Musgrove led SCR-I (5-4) with 20 points on the night.

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