The Moyers Tigers took on the 10th ranked Red Oak Eagles this past week in the first round of the Regional competition. This would prove to be a thrilling, nail biting, heart pounding game that came down to the wire.
Junior Brandon Slocum got the opening tip for the Tigers. Sr. Jake Mattingly scored the first basket for the Tigers. The Tigers jumped out to an early lead in an aggressive, physical battle. At the end of one the score was 12-2.
Soph Caleb Armstrong started the second out right with a and 1, the followed it up with a 3 point shot to put the Tigers up 18-5. The crowds roared with support as Brandon and Jake M. each found the 3 point range and the Tigers took a 27-11 point advantage into the locker room at half.
The Red Oak coach must have lit a fire under his team, because they came back out strong in the 3rd. The play got more and more physical and the refs whistle seemed to quit working. Sr. Zach Brittingham battled hard under the boards and Sr. Terrell Morgan came up with some big 3 point shots at just the right time to slow the building Eagle momentum. The Tigers had the lead 36-34 with less than 4 minutes left, but the Eagles weren’t going down easy taking over their first lead of the game 40-39 at 3:36 left.
Jr. Jake Dudley hit a much needed free throw to tie things up at 40, Terrell Morgan again ripped the net for a three to give the Tigers back the lead 43-42 with 54.5 seconds left. Jake Dudley took and inbound pass and was fouled which sent him to the line where he came up with a big free-throw to put the Tigers up 44-42. With 4.2 seconds left the Eagles put up a three point shot that rolled on the rim before falling out to give the Tigers the much deserved victory. This was a defensive game and the Tigers worked hard for this win. Jake Dudley led the scoring with 14, followed by Brandon Slocum with 10, Terrell Morgan with 9, Caleb Armstrong with 6 and Jake Mattingly with 5.
Next up in the Regional Championship were the top ranked Varnum Whippets. The Moyers boys, after successfully winning the Red Oak game, decided to support a new hair style, and apparently the Whippets were along the same train of thought. There were more Mohawks on the court that day than most have seen before.
Varnum got the opening tip, but it was the Tigers who took control of the game early. Jake Mattingly put the first point on the board for the Tigers and let them know we were there to play ball. This was a face paced game with the lead changing hands multiple times in the first quarter. Terrell Morgan and Brandon Slocum fought tough under the board to give the Tiger the rebounding edge. After one, the Tigers were in the lead 15-1.
The Tigers seemed to have the momentum in the 2nd with good plays by both teams to keep the score evenly matched. The Whippets had the narrow lead 33-30 at half. The Tigers started sluggish in the 3rd and couldn’t seem to buy a basket or a call and Varnum went on an unanswered run to jump ahead of the Tigers 57-46. The Tigers never could seem to find their groove again, and were handed their first lose in the Regional championship by the 3rd ranked Varnum Whippets 72-55.
The boys played a great game and battled hard in front of the all the fans that made the trip. Brandon Slocum led the scoring with 14, Jake Mattingly with 12, Jake Dudley with 11, Terrell Morgan had 9, and Caleb Armstrong with 9.
BUT, this party isn’t over yet, the Tigers will play in the consolation bracket starting on Thursday still shooting for that chance to travel to the Big House. They play Thursday at 8 p.m. at Kingston against Tupelo.View more articles in: