Tuesday, January 17, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Jacksonville turns over last chance

Special to The Leader

The Jacksonville Titans lost a heartbreaker Friday night at Hall High School in Little Rock by a final of 46-45. The score was tied at the end of one quarter, and Jacksonville led by two at the half and by one at the end of three quarters.

Hall (9-5,2-1) then outscored their visitor by two points in the final period to take the win. The Titans (8-7,3-2) had defeated Hall 69-65 in the Coke Classic in Fort Smith over the holiday break.

With four seconds remaining, Hall missed two double-bonus free throws. Jacksonville got the rebound and called time-out with the length of the court to go and only 3.2 seconds on the clock.

After the break, the inbounds pass went to halfcourt, but the second pass went out of bounds on the Jacksonville end of the floor. Hall had the ball with 0.1 seconds to go and only had to toss the ball in to end the game, setting the final score of 46-45 Warriors.

“It was kind of an ugly, sloppy game early,” said Jacksonville coach Victor Joyner. “The lack of execution on both teams was just atrocious. The ball wasn’t moving on our part. When they did move the ball, it was easy for us to score. We were just flat offensively. We had an opportunity to win the game, and that’s all you want to have, an opportunity. Braylon Hawkins woke up tonight, and Joe Phillips woke up tonight. We need those guys going forward. We need them to keep playing like they played tonight.”

Tyree Appleby got the Titans on the scoreboard first with a 3-point basket. Maurio Goggins and Antonio Smith answered with a two each for Hall. Chris Williams had an offensive rebound put-back for Jacksonville.

Goggins sank another two, but DaJuan Ridgeway responded with a 3-pointer to give the Titans the 8-6 edge. Ridgeway was good for another three at the end of the quarter, but Goggins finished the scoring for the quarter with two free throws to tie the contest at 12-12.

Braylon Hawkins sank a scoop shot lay-up to start the scoring in the second period for Jacksonville. Tyre Tillmon answered to tie. The lead went back and forth most of the quarter, with neither team going ahead by more than two points.

Hawkins hit a 2-point basket in the lane for the 20-20 tie, and then gave Jacksonville the 23-21 halftime advantage with a 3-point bucket from the corner off a baseline in-bounds play.

Hall outscored the Titans 7-2 to take a 28-25 lead early in quarter number three. Williams sank two from the line, and Appleby had a steal and dunk, and Jacksonville led by one.

Goggins took the lead back with two free throws, but the Titans went on an eight point scoring run to lead 37-30. Joe Phillips had six of those points, two from the stripe, and two scored under the basket. Goggins responded with six straight points of his own, and the score at the end of three periods was 37-36.

Ridgeway sank a three to start the final period scoring. The score was tied at 43-43 with 2:32 remaining. Phillips put the Titans in the lead with one-of-two free throws. The Warriors took the lead back at 45-44, and then Appleby was fouled by Goggins on a 3-point attempt, and went to the line for three free throws. He made one of the three for the 45-45 tie.

With only 40.2 seconds remaining on the clock, Hall was passing the ball looking for a shot when Shaun Juniel was fouled with 20.8 seconds to go. He made one of the two from the stripe, and Jacksonville took a time-out, down by one point.

Out of the time-out, Ridgeway drove to the basket, but was unable to score. The Warriors came away with the rebound, to set up the missed free throws and game-ending turnover.

Appleby had 13 points for Jacksonville. Ridgeway had 12, Phillips eight, Hawkins seven, and Williams five. Goggins led all scorers with 18 points and was perfect from the free throw line with 8 of 8.