Last second 3 wins it for Asheboro

Stephanie King

It was a packed house at Randleman High School on Friday as the Tigers opened their 2017-18 basketball season against the Blue Comets of Asheboro. Asheboro came into the game 0-2 on the season.

Sam Gribble put the Tigers on the board first with a pair of free throws, but after that it was all Asheboro. The Blue Comets got out and ran, taking the lead over the Tigers. Devingston Lewis tied the game at 2 all before Nat Fisher came away with a steal and bucket to give the Blue Comets a 4-2 lead. An offensive foul on Jaquan Snipes would give the ball back to the Comets and keep their momentum going. Asheboro closed out the quarter with back to back buckets for an 8-2 lead over Randleman.

Asheboro pushed their lead to 10-2 at the start of the second quarter, but the Tigers found their offensive rhythm and started to see their shots fall. Gribble drove to basket and put one in for the Tigers to cut the lead to six. Asheboro pushed the lead back to eight, but it would not stay that way for long. Izayah Feree drained one from behind the arc for the Tigers to cut the lead five. A bucket from Lewis extended the lead back out for the Blue Comets, but Tyson Green picked up three points the old-fashioned way on the other end to bring the lead down to four. Cory Durrant made the lead six for the Blue Comets with a bucket down in the paint midway through the quarter. Gribble continued to play well as he caught a pass from Tanner McGee and drained an open three to cut the lead to lead. A free throw from Durrant pushed the lead to four, but Randleman closed out the quarter on a 5-0 run to take an 18-17 lead at halftime.

The Blue Comets tied the game at 18 all to open the third quarter after a free throw from Tysean Freshwater. Randleman would respond with a 7-0 run including a three from Dominick Poole for a 25-18 lead over Asheboro. Durrant and Jamel Carl knocked down back to back buckets for the Blue Comets to pull them back within three. Randleman picked up three points from Feree and Timmy York, but could never get enough separation to put the game away. Asheboro outscored the Tigers 8-3 during the final minutes of the third quarter to make it a one possession game. After three quarters, Randleman was leading 32-30.

Things got stressful in the fourth and final quarter as this one went down to the wire. Green opened the quarter with a reverse layup for the Tigers to give them a 34-30 lead. Randleman would lead 36-31 when Will Clauser drained a three from the top of the key to cut the lead to two for Asheboro. Snipes picked Asheboro’s pocket and converted it into two points and a foul. He would make the free throw for three points the old-fashioned way. Lewis would answer on the other end for the Blue Comets with three points the old-fashioned way as well. Asheboro would take their first lead since it was 17-15 in the second quarter as Durrant tacked on three points the hard way. Asheboro led 40-39. A pull-up jumper on the other end from Poole game the lead back to the Tigers at 41-40.

A three ball from Noah Watkins put the Blue Comets back on top with under four minutes left in the game. Randleman would tie the game at 43 after a bucket from Green with just over three minutes remaining. With two and a half minutes remaining, Gribble tied the game again this time at 45 all. The Tigers would take a 47-45 lead after a pair of free throws from Poole. Randleman would lead 48-46 when Clauser drained his second three of the night to put the Blue Comets in front 49-48 with just over a minute left to play.

Randleman stayed poised and retook the lead on a bucket from Tanner McGee off an assist from Snipes. The Tigers could have extended their lead, but they left a couple of free throws at the charity stripe. Asheboro had a chance to take the lead with eighteen seconds left, but a travel was called on the Blue Comets turning the ball over the Tigers. Gribble was fouled and made one of two free throws to give the Tigers a 51-49 lead with about ten seconds remaining. Time was running out when Clauser found himself with ball behind the three-point line. He would drain a three with two seconds left on the clock to give Asheboro the lead. Randleman heaved one towards the goal as time expired, but the shot fell short. Asheboro won it 52-51.

Leading the way for the Blue Comets was Cory Durrant as he finished with 10 points. Devingston Lewis chipped in 9, while Jamel Carl added 8. Sam Gribble led the Tigers with 13 points, while Tyson Green notched 10. Dominick Poole and Tanner McGee both finished with 7 for the Tigers.

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