MMI falls to Warrior Academy Braves

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 17, 2006

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.

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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.