March 11, 2010

Tigers Topple Knox County to Advance to District Title Game

Brandon Garnett is fouled by Knox County’s Joe Rice as he goes in on the fastbreak during Thursday night’s district semifinals game.

A bench already made thin by a pair of injuries, got a lot shorter Thursday night in Memphis thanks to early foul trouble. But Scotland County was able to battle through the problems to come out on top of Knox County 48-45 and advance to the Class 2 District 14 championship game on Saturday.

Scotland County put Knox County in the double bonus before the end of the first quarter, causing Coach Lance Campbell to go to his bench early and often. Andrew Mathis, Harley Stone and Brock Bondurant each picked up a pair of fouls in the opening eight minutes forcing the SCR-I staff to scramble its player rotation.

But the Tigers depth allowed SCR-I to open a 15-14 advantage through the first eight minutes of play despite the Eagles making eight of 13 free throws in that stretch.

Drew Miller got the Tigers rolling with a three pointer to start the contest before Kasey Dial connected on a pair of shots from behind the arc to produce the one point lead.

Neither team got much going on offense in the second period. The Tigers lone field goal was a three pointer by Miller that made the score 18-16 early in the period. Garnett sank a couple free throws to push the lead to four points with 5:43 left on the clock. The lone other SCR-I point came on a free throw by Miller. That allowed Knox County to take a 23-21 lead at the intermission.

Knox County extended the margin to as many as five points midway through the third period. But after Garnett hit a pair of free throws, Dakota Wells connected on a three pointer to knot the score at 29-29. The Tigers pulled back ahead 32-31 on a bucket by Miller to end the third period.

Harley Stone scored the first four points of the fourth period to get the SCR-I crowd into the game. They erupted after Dial and Wells found the range on back-to-back three pointers that made the score 42-37.

But the Eagles refused to go quietly. A four point lead disappeared in the blink of an eye, as SCR-I failed to convert on a free throw opportunity and then followed that possession with a turnover that allowed Knox County to tie the score at 45-45 with just under a minute to play.

Scotland County came up with a defensive stop and regained the lead when Garnett broke the Knox County press and found Wells open underneath for an easy hoop.

Wells made it a three point lead with 13.7 seconds left when he made one of two free throws. SCR-I made it interesting by missing three straight at the charity stripe, but Knox County’s three point attempt at the buzzer was well off the mark, finalizing the 48-45 win for the Tigers.

Garnett led Scotland County in scoring with 11 points. Dial finished with 10 points and Wells and Miller each added nine points.

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