|Jr. Twisters miss last shot at finals
|Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013 7:00 pm
By RANDY CAVIN
Special to The Messenger
A 3-point shot at the buzzer that rolled in and rolled out put an end to Union City Middle School’s season and gave Cypress the 47-45 semifinal win in the West Tennessee Sectionals Thursday night.
Quentrail Polk had one chance with 0.8 ticks on the clock to win it for the Golden Tornadoes. Polk received the inbound pass at midcourt on a catch-and-shoot play that head coach Antawn Coby set up on a time-out.
Polk caught the inbound pass on the near wing, turned and fired on an off-balance shot that would have put the Junior Twisters in the finals if it had dropped in.
“We had less than second in a situation where we had to catch and shoot,” Coby said. “We had a pretty good look on the wing, but it rolled in and rolled out on Polk.”
Wil’Aveion Burton gave UC a 45-43 lead on a layup with 2:37 to play after Cypress tied just seconds before. The Timberwolves tied it back up 11 seconds later on a Remeek Wooten basket and took a 47-45 lead on Christopher Mitchell’s shot under the rim.
Cypress got the ball back and spread the floor out until Polk fouled Jordan Fairman with 17.5 seconds left to send Cypress to the line for a one-and-one. The Tornadoes grabbed the rebound when Fairman missed his first, and then Coby called a time-out to setup a play with 15.9 second left.
Jeremy Bumpus took the inbounds pass and lost the handle to the ball which enabled the Timberwolves to run the clock down. Austin Meadows fouled Wooten with 4.8 seconds left, and Wooten missed his first shot. Ladarious Morris got the offensive rebound for Cypress and then he turned the ball over that gave UC one last chance for Polk’s shot at the buzzer.
Both teams had chances to blow the game wide open, but Cypress and UC missed several second and third chance shots. Coby felt if his guys could have scored on just a few of those chances and rebounded better on defense, his team would have been heading to the finals.
“They shoot the ball real quick and rebound offensively real well,” Coby said. “They got a lot of offensive rebounds. I think in the second half, we eliminated that some with our man-to-man defense.”
Defense kept UC in the game in the second half by rebounding better and creating some turnovers that they turned into points. Coby said his boys proved they can play with those Memphis teams.
“That is one thing I told my guys,” Coby said. “Cypress is use to scoring 70, 80 and 90 points each game. I told them that what they can take pride in is to look up at the scoreboard. They only scored 47 points tonight.
“I do not think there is another team that can hold them to that. I do not even think Lester can hold them to only 47 points.”
Cypress will play Lester Middle School in the finals tonight at 7:30 at Martin Middle School.
The loss ends the Tornadoes’ season with a 14-4 record.
Cypress led 14-10 with 30 seconds left in the first period before Polk cut the lead down to two on a short jumper with 12 seconds left. The Timberwolves built up a five-point lead with four minutes left in the half on a basket by Tadarious Nichols.
A foul shot by Kaleb Dowell and a basket by Bumpus trimmed the lead to 19-17 before Cypress scored five of the last seven points of the half to go into the break with a 24-19 lead.
UC took a short lead on a 10-point run midway into the third period that ended with Burton’s basket for a 31-29 advantage with just over two minutes to play in the period.
Cypress went on a six-point run before both teams swapped baskets four times with Cypress taking a 39-38 lead into the final period.
Coby said after the game that he is proud to have coached this group and looks forward to next season with his returning kids.
“I am proud of them and I have a good group coming back next year,” Coby said. “I told my guys that they are going to be fantastic in high school if they stick together. That group is special and they will have an opportunity in high school to win another one of these types of games.”
Published in The Messenger 2.8.13