December 6, 2012

Late Rally Falls Short in 55-54 Loss for Tigers

Brice Cowell splits the Novinger defenders as he puts up a shot in the paint during Saturday night's game.

In a game of runs and momentum changes, Scotland County simply ran out of time as Novinger held on for a 55-54 victory Saturday night in the championship game of the Novinger Tournament.

Novinger jumped out to a 6-0 lead before SCR-I found its offense. Brice Cowell scored in the paint before Lucas Howard converted a three-point play. Bailey Johnston kept SCR-I close, scoring six points down the stretch of the first period, but Novinger still held a 16-11 advantage.

The lead grew to 21-11 before Howard scored in the paint at the 4:43 mark of the second period. Buckets by Johnston and Howard followed by a three-pointer from Cordie Kigar trimmed the deficit to just three points.

The two teams traded buckets before Novinger went on a 7-0 run to regain the momentum. SCR-I got a boost just before halftime as Kyler Burkhiser hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to trim the margin to 32-27.

The Tigers simply could not get over the hump in the third period. After a basket by Howard, the two teams traded scores for the bulk of the period, with the lead remaining at three points for the bulk of the eight minutes. Novinger put together a 9-0 spurt in the final minute and looked poised to blow the contest open with a 47-35 lead.

Scotland County answered with a run of its own to open the fourth period. Cowell connected on a jumper and Jacob Hull added five points, including a three-pointer. Back-to-back buckets by Howard made the score 52-46 with 2:53 left to play.

A jumper by Jacob Blessing and a free throw by Brice Cowell made the score 53-49 with 1:14 left on the clock.

The two teams traded turnovers in the next several possessions before Howard converted an offensive rebound to make the score 53-51 with 36 ticks left on the clock.

Novinger made a pair of free throws but stopped the clock with a foul. Cowell made one of two free throws to again make it a one possession game at 55-52.

After the Wildcats missed two free throws, the home team planned to foul to prevent a three-point shot in the final seconds. But an overly-aggressive play resulted in an intentional foul being called.

Kigar sank two clutch free throws with just six seconds left in the game. SCR-I also received the ball, trailing by just a point. However SCR-I was unable to get a good shot, and a three pointer missed the mark, allowing Novinger to hang on for the win.

Howard led Scotland County (2-2) with 17 points. Johnston chipped in with 12 points and Cowell added eight points.

Novinger (3-1) was led in scoring by Justin Klingsmith with 19 points. Trent Rodman added 18 points.

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