Cougars win thriller at home

Stephanie King

In the final game of a varsity doubleheader, the Southwestern Randolph Cougars took the court against the Randleman Tigers in what looked to be an exciting match-up. Southwestern Randolph entered the game 2-3 on the season, while Randleman was 0-1.

Southwestern Randolph was the first to score in this one as Ethan Reynolds got a pass in the post and put one up and in. Randleman would answer on the other end with a bucket from Tanner McGee down in the paint. The Cougars were ready run and play fast as they worked the ball quickly from one end of the floor to the other. Tanner Ferguson found Reynolds down low for a bucket to give the Cougars a 4-2 lead. Ferguson put his name on the stat sheet moments later when he drained a three from the left side of the court to put Southwestern Randolph up 7-2. Tyson Green drove to the basket and put up a floater to score for the Tigers and make it a 7-4 game.

The Cougars continued to feed Reynolds in the paint and he continued to score as he made it a 9-4 game. After an empty trip up the floor by the Tigers, Parker LaPlant scored with a floater in the lane for the Cougars to give them an 11-4 lead. For the next few minutes the Cougars and Tigers traded baskets with the Cougars leading 16-10. Randleman almost cut the lead to four on a pass from Dominick Poole to Jaquan Snipes, but an offensive foul on Poole negated the basket by Snipes. The Cougars would lead 16-10 at the end of the quarter.

Scoring was not as easy for the Cougars in the second quarter as the Tigers defense locked in Reynolds in the posts. Reynolds would score the first bucket of the quarter and he would score twice more later in the quarter. Southwestern Randolph pushed their lead out to eleven off a three from the left corner by Cody Russell early in the second. Sam Gribble responded with a three of his own on the other end for the Tigers to spark a 6-0 run that cut the lead to five. The Cougars pushed the lead back to nine after back to back buckets from Reynolds, but the Tigers battled back to close out the quarter with a 6-0 run. McGee picked up back to back points during the run as Randleman trailed 25-22 at halftime.

The Cougars pushed their lead back out quickly at the start of the third quarter as Reynolds scored of a floater in the lane followed by a free throw from Luke Johnson. Randleman trailed 28-22 before going on an 8-0 run to tie and take the lead over the Cougars. A bucket from Green off an assist from Snipes tied the game at 28 all, before a steal and score from Snipes gave the Tigers a 30-28 lead. Reynolds pulled down an offensive rebound and put it back up and in to tie the game at 30 all moments later. The Cougars got hot from behind the arc as Johnson, Ferguson, and Russell drained straight threes to take a 39-31 lead over the Tigers. Reynolds made it a 41-31 lead with a bucket down in the paint. Snipes scored on a drive into the lane to cut the lead to eight, but Ferguson would drain another three on the other end for a 44-33 lead at the end of the quarter for the Cougars.

Randleman opened the fourth with a three by Gribble from the left corner to cut the lead to 44-36. He would knock down one of two free throws on the next trip down the floor to make it a 44-37 game. The Cougars would respond with a bucket on the other end. It was Randleman’s turn to get hot from behind the arc as Gribble, Poole, and Snipes drained straight threes to tie the game at 46-46. McGee would cap off the run with three points the old-fashioned way to give the Tigers a 49-46 lead. Southwestern Randolph cut the lead to one after a bucket from Reynolds, but Randleman pushed it back to three after a pair of free throws from Gribble. A drive and bucket from Poole gave the Tigers a 53-50 lead late in the quarter, but back to back buckets from Brighton Long gave the lead back to the Tigers.

Southwestern Randolph was leading 54-53 when McGee knocked down a free throw to tie the game at 54 all. Snipes would give the Tigers a 56-54 lead after a steal from Green. On the other end Johnson drew a foul with 3.6 seconds left and would knock down the pair to tie the game at 56 all. Randleman found themselves in a similar situation last week against Asheboro the only difference being that the Tigers had the ball for the last shot. McGee was set to inbound the ball when Reynolds blocked and stole the inbounds. He would lay it in as they clock hit zero to give the Cougars a 58-56 win over the Tigers.

Ethan Reynolds led all scorers with 27 points, while Tanner Ferguson chipped in 9 for the Cougars. Cody Russell, Luke Johnson, and Brighton Long each finished with 6 for Southwestern Randolph. Sam Gribble finished with 14 points to lead Randleman, while Tanner McGee added 12. Dominick Poole and Jaquan Snipes each notched 10 for the Tigers.

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