November 25, 2010

Early Lead Evaporates as Tigers Fall to Clark County in Season Opener

With two players returning from injuries that cost them most of last season and a number of other players stepping into new roles, Scotland County expects to experience some growing pains this basketball season.

That was the case Tuesday night in the season opener, as the Tigers struggled with turnovers allowing Clark County to escape with a 55-52 win in Memphis.

SCR-I showed no first game jitters early on, jumping out to a 9-2 lead behind six quick points by Andrew Mathes. Kasey Dial connected on a three pointer and Sabe Sears scored on the fast break as the Tigers looked poised to blow the game open early.

But it took a buzzer beater by Dakota Wells to knot the score at 14-14 to end the first period as Clark County used a 10 run late in the quarter to pull back into the contest.

The two squads traded buckets, and the lead, much of the second period.

Wells opened the scoring with a drive to the hoop. Derrick Muntz and Lee Tague came off the bench to give SCR-I a boost, each scoring in the paint. Harley Stone added a pair of field goals but it wasn't enough to keep Clark County from pulling ahead 31-28 at the break.

The Indians opened the third period with a couple of quick buckets to push the lead to 35-28 before Drew Miller completed a three point play. A jumper by Dial and a pair of free throws by Miller knotted the score at 35-35. Clark County responded with a 10-0 run that proved to be the difference in the contest.

Muntz converted a pair of free throws and beat the buzzer with a jumper to trim the deficit to 45-39 heading into the fourth quarter.

Tague and Muntz kept the Tigers within striking distance, combining for six points to start the fourth quarter.

Stone drilled a three pointer with 2:32 left in the game to cut the Clark County advantage to 51-48 and breathe some life back into the Tigers. The junior forward converted in the paint on the next possession to bring SCR-I to within one point with 1:40 left to play.

But SCR-I simply could not get over the hump. The Tigers had a pair of opportunities to take the lead, but the shots simply would not fall as time ran out on the 55-52 Clark County win.

Stone and Muntz finished with 10 points each to pace the Tigers offense. Tague added seven points. Clark County was led in scoring by Ryan Whiston with 16 points and Justin Alderton with 13 points.

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