‘Cats survive AggiesPublished 10:55am Wednesday, December 4, 2013
There’s a first time for everything.
The Benjamin Russell Wildcats proved that when, thanks to a lay-up by Ronnie Stacy with 2.3 seconds left, they downed the Sylacauga Aggies in a 70-67 thriller.
The win is the first one for the Wildcats (3-0) versus Sylacauga in head coach Jeff Hines’ tenure.
“Sylacauga’s had our number since I’ve been here,” Hines said. “They’ve got a heck of a basketball team, and we were fortunate to get out of there with a win.”
The Wildcats headed into the fourth quarter ahead 46-41 thanks to a 6-2 run to end the quarter.
BRHS eventually extended its lead in the fourth to as much as nine thanks to key baskets from Q. Johnson, LaBrenikin Johnson and Timmy Lawson.
With the ‘Cats up 57-48 with 5:05 left, the Aggies made their charge.
A trey from Hayden Ellis and a putback by Jaylon McGhee brought the Aggies within four, but Stacy scored to put the lead at 59-53.
Ellis again found the bottom of the hoop to cut the Wildcats’ lead to three, and clutch free throws by Q. Johnson increased the Wildcats’ lead to seven.
From there, the teams trade free throws for a bit but the Wildcats went cold from the charity stripe, and the Aggies took advantage.
Kadeem Jackson scored to bring the score 63-60 in favor of BRHS, and a McGhee putback off a Rodney Gilbert missed free throw tied the game.
BRHS answered with free throws from Dijon Leonard, but Jackson scored with 1:13 left to tie the game, and was fouled during. He didn’t convert the free throw.
Jonathan Crawford gave the Aggies the lead with 12.3 seconds left, but Stacy scored the final two of his team-high 19 points to claim the advantage for the ‘Cats. Tyrik Norris hit two free throws late to seal it.
“We play 12 guys, and all of them contribute to what we’re doing,” Hines said. “It’s a team game, and these guys are playing it as a team. I told the guys that we can play a lot better than we did in this game, and there’s no question that we can.”
Stacy also had seven boards, six assists and three steals. Norris had 13 points, four assists and two steals. Rod Hunter had 10 points.