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Warriors come from behind to top Tigers

Stephanie King

The PAC-6 Boys’ Basketball Conference Tournament semifinals came to Providence Grove on Tuesday as the number two seeded Wheatmore Warriors took on the number three seeded Randleman Tigers. Randleman defeated Providence Grove on Monday to advance to the semifinal match-up with the Warriors.

Randleman took control of this one early behind a three from Tyson Green. Seth Heglar put the Warriors on the board, but a pair of free throws from Cyle Cassidy put the Tigers up 5-2. Randleman picked up a three from Zack Bailey and another bucket from Green to take a 10-2 lead over the Warriors. Three points the old fashion way from Heglar stopped the Tigers’ run and cut the lead to five. Gavin Rains scored in the post for the Warriors to cut the lead to three. Tanner McGee would give the Tigers a little breathing room with a trey from the wing, but Heglar scored to cut the lead to four. After one quarter of play the Tigers led 13-9.

Wheatmore took their first lead of the during the opening minutes of the second quarter after a bucket from Heglar and a three ball from Matt Owens. The Tigers would respond with a three from Trent Lineberry for a 16-14 lead. Cassidy tacked on a free throw to extend Randleman’s lead back to three. Owens drained another three for the Warriors to tie this one at 17 all and then a pair of free throws from Corey Hudgins gave the Warriors a 19-17 lead. Bailey would put the Tigers back on top with his second three of the night ad a floater from the baseline. The Tigers led 22-19 as Heglar posted up and scored to cut the lead to one by halftime. At the half, Randleman led 22-21.

A Gavin Rains bucket gave the Warriors a 23-22 lead to start the third quarter of play. Randleman responded with a three from Trent Lineberry and three points the old fashion way from McGee to put the Tigers back in front. The Tigers would remain in control the rest of the quarter, but the Warriors kept things close. Randleman led by five before Wheatmore score to cut the lead to two late in the quarter. After the Tigers extended the lead back to five, Hudgins drained a three to cut the lead back to two. Collin Hayes answered on the other end with a three for the Tigers. Wheatmore picked up a bucket from Jake Grantham and then another three from Hudgins to tie this one at 36 all. Cassidy would drain a deep three right before the buzzer to give the Tigers a 39-36 lead.

Bailey scored down low for the Tigers to start the final quarter and Cassidy drained another three to give the Tigers their largest lead of the night. These two teams would trade baskets during the early part of the quarter as the Tigers remained in control. Hudgins knocked down another three, while Grantham and Heglar tacked on four points to cut Randleman’s lead to one. Randleman picked up back to back run-outs from McGee and Green to extend the Tigers lead to five. Lineberry scored on a run-out to put Randleman ahead 54-47.

After his bucket, Lineberry was called for a technical and a foul that changed the course of the game for the Tigers. Wheatmore made two of the three free throws and maintained possession. Heglar scored down low to bring the Warriors within three. A bucket from Grantham cut the lead to one, but Bailey picked up three points the old fashion way to push the Tigers’ lead back to four. Hudgins drained yet another three to cut the lead to one for the Warriors. Wheatmore would take a one point lead on a bucket down low from Heglar. A free throw from Grantham put the Warriors up 59-57. Randleman tried for the full-court pass, but it was deflected by the Warriors and time expired. Wheatmore won 59-57 and advances to the PAC-6 Tournament Championship game on Friday when they will play either Eastern Randolph or High Point Andrews.

Seth Heglar led the Warriors with 19 points, while Corey Hudgins chipped in 14. Gavin Rains added 11. For the Tigers, it was Zack Bailey leading the way with 15 points. Tanner McGee finished with 12 points, while Cyle Cassidy notched 9.

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