MMI falls to Warrior Academy Braves
The Selma Times-Journal
&045; Having won the first title of her career, Dr. Michelle Ivey took the floor for a second time on Thursday, hoping to make it a clean sweep inside of Huntingdon’s Brickhouse.
The win however, proved to be of the bittersweet variety. Nearly 50 minutes later, her Tigers sat exhausted with hanged heads as the Warrior Academy Braves celebrated a 72-61 victory over the Tigers.
Trailing by eight, Jovaris Smith sank two free throws to cut the Braves lead to six, 55-49.
Younger brother Jerome Smith was called for a foul, his fourth straight, sending Warrior’s JaMichael Rivers to the line for a pair of free throws.
Both sailed through the net, pushing the Braves lead back to eight, 57-49. Jovaris, however, brought the lead back to six with a pair of free throws with 1:47 left in the game.
Smith added a mid-range jumper, cutting the lead to four, 57-53 with 1:27 left to play. JaMichael Rivers was fouled by the younger Smith, his fifth of the night.
Rivers sank both to push the lead back to four, 59-55 with 1:11 left to play. Kendric Moore added a pair of baskets to cut the Braves’ lead to three, 60-57 with 1:02 left to play.
Tyrik Carter comes in off the bench and drains two freebies to push the Braves back up by five as the clock ticked down to under a minute left.
Carter, a seventh grader that’s barely 4’8&8221;’ was sent back to the line, draining two more freebies, pushing the Warrior lead to seven, 64-57 with :42 left to play. Carter was sent to the line a third time.
Same song, third verse for the Braves. Carter pushed the MMI lead to nine, 66-57. Rivers added to the free throw clinic, sinking a pair and pushing MMI’s deficit to 11, 68-57.
The Tigers and Braves traded baskets, but were unable to chip away at the Braves lead.
The MMI Tigers matched up with a team that they were very familiar with, the Warrior Academy Braves.
Although the Tigers had a 2-1 advantage over the squad from Eutaw, that didn’t stop the Braves from racing out to a 6-2 edge to open the game.
The Cadets, however battled back with a pair of baskets from Wendell Crews and Jovaris Smith to cut the Warrior lead to one, 8-7 with 4:30 to play in the opening frame.
Smith took the rebound coast-to-coast to answer a Warrior basket, but the Cades still trailed, 10-9 with 3:30 left to play. After a foul, Smith sank the back end of a pair of freebies to tie the game at 10-all.
With a basket by Smith to keep the score knotted at 12-12, Sam Greene’s board and basket gave the Tigers their first lead of the game, 14-12 with time ticking down in the opening frame.
At the end of the first period, the Tigers led 14-12.
Kendric Moore pushed the Tiger lead to a quartet of points to open the second frame, 16-12. Crews added a basket and a foul to keep the MMI Tigers running, 6-0. Warrior Robert Jarvis called a timeout to talk things over with 6:12 left in the half.
Crews free throw attempt bounced out.
Trenedy Bolden sank one of three freebies and then Robbie Gray added a triple, to cut the MMI lead to two, 18-16.
Greene grabbed a rebound and powered it back up to push the MMI lead to four, 20-16 with 4:30 left to play before the break. Jamey Donaldson found the bottom of the basket from the right side, cutting the MMI lead back to one, 20-19, with 3:35 left to play. Gray sank a second triple of the period to push the Braves back on top 22-20.
Their lead was short-lived as the Tigers answered to tie the game at 22-all.
Warrior’s JaMichael Rivers converted an old-fashioned three-point play to give the Braves a three-point lead. Rivers added another basket to give the Braves a five-point lead going into the intermission, 27-22.
The Braves held on to the two-point lead, pushing the tally to 30-28, but a traveling and a foul call kept the ball on the Cadets’ end of the floor. However, it was a fruitless visit as the Tigers gave the ball back to the Braves with 6:09 left in the period.
Moore’s shot rolled in as the Braves were called for a blocking foul. Moore sank the freeby to push the Tiger lead to one, 31-30 with 5:47 left to play in the third period.
Rivers pushed the Braves back on top by a point with 4:30 left to play.
The senior Brave was one-of-two from the free throw stripe and then added a breakaway basket, followed by an inside basket to making it a 6-0 Warrior run. Gray took the feed from Bolden to the hole for the score, pushing the lead and the run to 8-0, 41-33 with 2:59 left in the period. Ivey called timeout to talk things over with her squad.
With 2:25 left in the period, the Tigers began to chip away at the Brave lead. Jerome Smith added a basket to cut the margin to six, 41-35. But a foul on the other end of the floor sent Rivers back to the line, sinking one-of-two freebies to push the lead to seven.
Jovaris Smith converted a three-point play, cutting the Warrior lead to four, 42-38 with 1:24 to play in the half.
MMI cut the Braves’ lead in half at the end of the third period, 44-42, with an inside basket from Smith off a feed from Andrew Alexander. Smith tied the game for the Tigers with a drive and hoop to open the final frame.
The Braves took a two-point lead after a basket from Gray just inside the three-point arc. Gray added a three to push the MMI lead to five, 49-44 with 6:04 left to play.
Alexander had his moment to shine, sinking one of two freebies with 5:20 left to play.
Rivers however, kept the Braves lead at a six-point margin.
With 3:24 to play, the Tigers Smith sank both free throws to cut the Warrior lead to four, 51-47 with 3:24 left to play.
The Braves stalled, trying to keep the clock rolling and the ball out of the Tigers hands. Rivers was fouled and sent to the line and sanking a pair of free throws, extending the Brave lead to six, 53-47.
Rivers added another basket to push the Braves up by eight with 2:40 left in the game.
Smith was selected to the All-Tournament team with 30 points. Moore added 10 points and Crews chipped in 11 points.
For Warrior, Rivers was selected tourney MVP with 35 points, and Gray added 13 points.