December 11, 2008

Tigers Topple Milan 53-43 to Take Third Place Trophy

Scotland County battled through significant foul trouble and a pair of lengthy scoring droughts to secure the third place trophy from the season-opening Novinger Tournament. The #4 seeded Tigers upset the #3 Wildcats 53-43 to bring home the hardware.

ďPeople were telling me before the game we were going to have trouble with Milan because of their size,Ē said first-year coach Lance Campbell. ďThen when we got into foul trouble we had to play significant minutes with an even smaller lineup, but the kids stepped up and did a good job to get us our second win.Ē

Scotland County sped out of the gates hitting on all cylinders. Jacob Howard scored in the paint to start the offense. After Brandon Garnett scored on the fastbreak, Andrew Duley hit a three pointer and followed it up with a fastbreak bucket to make it 9-2 and force a Milan timeout with 4:26 left in the first period.

Howard and Kyle Shelley each had a pair of scores in the paint to close out the first period with SCR-I leading 17-7.

Garnett hit a pair of free throws to start the second period and maintain the double digit lead. But the SCR-I offense went quiet for the next six minutes as Harley Stone and Howard both went to the bench with foul trouble.

Howard returned to score a basket in the paint with 51 seconds to go in the first half but Milan had pulled within 21-18 to close the first half.

Milan continued its push to open the third period. Garnett hit a three pointer to put the Tigers ahead 24-20. But Milan went on a 5-0 run courtesy of a series of SCR-I turnovers to give the Wildcats their first lead of the night at 25-24 and force a Scotland County timeout with 5:01 left in the third period.

The two teams traded the lead back and forth the remainder of the third period. The Tigers left several points out there, converting just 2-7 free throws during the stretch. But buckets by Duley, Shelley and Howard allowed the Tigers to lead 34-31 to end the quarter.

Scotland County took charge of the contest opening the fourth period with a full-court press. After Shelley scored in the paint on a nice pass from Howard, Garnett stole the inbounds pass and converted on the fastbreak. Following another Milan turnover, Howard converted a three-point play to make it 41-31 and force a Milan timeout just 27 seconds into the fourth period.

Buckets by Howard and Garnett extended the lead to 45-31 forcing another Milan timeout. The Wildcats responded, going on an 8-0 run over the next two minutes to trim the deficit to 45-39 with 2:25 to play.

The lead shrank to 45-42 after a three pointer by Bryce Richardson with 1:33 on the clock. But SCR-I was a perfect 6-6 on free throws down the stretch and the defense shutout the Wildcats in the final 90 seconds to hold on for the 53-42 victory.

Howard led a balanced attack for Scotland County (2-1) with 17 points. Duley finished with 15 points while Garnett scored 12 points and Shelley chipped in with nine points.

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