Randleman holds off Trinity for win

Stephanie King

PAC-7 boys basketball action came to Randleman Friday night as the Tigers hosted rival Trinity to close out a varsity doubleheader. Randleman entered the game 3-1 in PAC-7 play and 8-4 on the season, while Trinity was 2-1 in league play and 8-6 overall on the season. This is the second meeting of the season between these two as the Tigers took a 64-52 win in the third-place game of the Courier-Tribune Christmas Invitational back in December.

Randleman came out on fire to start the first quarter as they took an early 9-0 lead before the Bulldogs scored their first points. Dominick Poole opened the game with a strong drive to the hoop and followed it up with a three from the left elbow. He went one for two at the line to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead. A three from Nate Cassidy gave the Tigers their nine-point lead. Luke Gentry put the Bulldogs on the board with a three from the elbow to cut the lead to six. Jaquan Snipes put his name in the scoring column with a bucket in the paint followed by a pair of free throws from Cassidy. Ben Owens drained a three for the Bulldogs before Snipes went two for two at the line for the Tigers. A deep three from Owens cut into the lead for the Bulldogs. Trinity outscore the Tigers 5-2 the rest of the quarter. After one complete quarter, Randleman led 20-14.

Trinity cut the lead to five with a free throw from Owens. The Bulldogs’ defense held the Tigers scoreless for the first two minutes, but could not capitalize offensively. Snipes knocked down a free throw to push the Tigers’ lead back to six. The teams drained baskets before Will Wheat drained a three to cut the lead to three for the Bulldogs. Randleman answered with a three from Cassidy and a putback from Snipes to take a 28-20 lead. The Bulldogs would score the final points of the quarter as Connor Stanley scored off an assist from Cameron Moser and knocked down a free throw. At the half, Randleman led 28-23.

Tyler Hammonds scored the first points of the third quarter and the Tigers led down to three. The Bulldogs once again held the Tigers scoreless for the first two minutes of the quarter, but could not tie or take the lead. Poole scored the first points of the quarter for the Tigers as he found a lane to the hoop. A steal and score from Owens and a bucket from Stanley cut the Tigers’ lead to one. Stanley had a chance at an and-one opportunity to tie the game but missed the free throw. Kaleb Mitchell drained a three from the corner to extend the Tigers’ lead back to four. Stanley continued to battle in the post and scored once again for the Bulldogs. Trinity got the lead back down to one as Hammonds scored in the paint. A three from Poole pushed the lead back out for the Tigers, but a three-point play from Stanley cut the lead back to one. Mitchell knocked down his second three of the quarter to put the Tigers up 40-36 heading into the final quarter.

The Bulldogs would not stop trying the battle their way back into this one as Stanley cut the lead back to two with a bucket in the paint. Timmy York drained a three from the top of the key to push the lead to five. Owens went two for three at the line after getting fouled on a three point attempt to cut the lead to three for the Bulldogs. Snipes muscled his way to hoop for a score and Poole drained another three as the Tigers took a 48-40 lead. Owens scored back to back buckets for the Bulldogs as they closed the gap to four. Randleman outscored the Bulldogs 8-2 down the stretch to claim a 56-46 victory.

Dominick Poole and Jaquan Snipes led the Tigers with 14 points each, while Nate Cassidy finished with 12. Kaleb Mitchell added 8 for the Tigers. Connor Stanley and Ben Owens each finished with 18 to lead the Bulldogs, while Tyler Hammonds chipped in 4.

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