January 28, 2010

Tigers Drop Third Meeting With Eagles in Tourney Third Place Game

A 15-2 run to close the second period allowed Knox County to pull ahead in the season series in one of the burgeoning sports rivalries in the region.

The Eagles bested Scotland County 70-60 on Saturday in the third place game of the North Shelby Tournament to gain the upper hand on the Tigers, leading the series 2-1 after the squads met for the third time this year.

Three pointers were the key to the first half. Kasey Dial opened the game with a deep three pointer and Brock Bondurant punctuated the first period with a shot from behind the arc at the buzzer. But in between, Knox County’s Keenan Gillespie knocked down three straight from behind the arc to put his team on top 15-14.

SCR-I turned to its senior duo to pull ahead in the game for the first time since the opening minute. Brandon Garnett and Kyle Shelley combined for 10 of the Tigers first 12 points of the second quarter. Garnett tied the game at 26-26 with a drive to the hoop.

Drew Miller put Scotland County ahead 29-28 with a three pointer, but Gillespie answered with his fifth consecutive make from downtown. That sparked an 8-0 run by the Eagles.

A pair of free throws by Garnett slowed the run, but the Tigers committed three straight costly turnovers that allowed Knox County to blow the game open and lead 43-31 at the break.

The first hoop of the third period gave Knox County a 17-2 run before Dial connected from behind the arc.

Harley Stone scored eight straight points for the Tigers in the third period. The sophomore blocked a shot on the defensive end, but the Tigers made just two of four free throws that could have brought the game even closer than the 52-46 margin. Dakota Wells drilled a three pointer to pull the Tigers within three.

But the turnovers returned, and Knox County went on a 9-0 run to end the third period ahead 61-49.

Shelley fueled a run to start the fourth period. He blocked a shot on defense that led to a fastbreak hoop for Sabe Sears. Shelley and Andrew Mathes converted in the paint on back-to-back possessions to trim the lead to single digits but that was as close as SCR-I could get as the Eagles soared to the 80-70 win.

Stone finished with 14 points to lead Scotland County, which fell to 5-8 on the year. Shelley had 10 points and Garnett finished with nine points.

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