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Champs stun Tigers, erase 17 point deficit in win

By CHRIS SIERS ~ sports@t-g.com
Posted 12/3/21

LEWISBURG — With less than two minutes to go in the first half on Thursday night at Marshall County, the Tigers (3-3) held a commanding 17-point lead over the visiting Cascade …

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Champs stun Tigers, erase 17 point deficit in win

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LEWISBURG — With less than two minutes to go in the first half on Thursday night at Marshall County, the Tigers (3-3) held a commanding 17-point lead over the visiting Cascade Champions.
One of the biggest areas of emphasis Champion coach Chris Lawson and his coaching staff has put on the team is closing out games—and that’s just what Cascade (4-1) did in the 60-54 thrilling non-district victory. 
“ One of the things we’ve talked a ton about is how to finish ballgames and we finished that one tonight. We finished Monday night against Moore County. We have a ton of areas to improve on, but we’re getting better. We took probably their best punch tonight. Down quite a bit, bounced back and we were able to come away with a win,” Lawson said. 
The first half tilted heavily in favor of the Tigers, as fouls quickly became an issue for the Champions.
Through just the first eight minutes, Cascade was whistled for eight fouls, which affected the rotation Cascade normally employs.
That said, the deep Champion bench came through and was able to stop the bleeding and maintain just enough to give Cascade a shot in the second half.
But in the first half, it was all Marshall County’s Devonte Davis.
Davis scored 19 of his game-high 21 points in the first half, utilizing his ability to draw the foul and get to the line.
The Tigers looked poised to blow the doors off the hinges in the first frame, but a 3-pointer by Thomas Gentry made it a two-point game with 18 seconds left.
Even with the foul issues in the first quarter, Cascade was able to back off its pressure and wasn’t whistled for a foul in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, Marshall County rattled off 19 points, including a barrage of three 3-pointers in the quarter, to take a 38-23 lead into the half.
Making matters worse, Cascade managed just 2-of-7 attempts at the free throw line in the first half. 
After taking a 15-point lead, at the half, Cascade began to chip into the Tigers’ lead by starting the third frame on an 11-2 run that left Marshall County up by just eight points at the end of the frame.
“This group, these kids, they fight and fight and fight. When we get down, they continue to compete. They’re not going to lay down and quit. 
We chipped away. That was our goal was to chip away,” Lawson said. 
A dunk by Justis Carter following a Tiger turnover with just over five minutes left in regulation brought it to a one possession contest. 
Chance Brown gave the Champs a 52-51 lead with over three minutes left, but a free throw by Marshall County’s Ronnie Lyttle left the score deadlocked at 52 with 2:28 left to go.
After Lyttle missed the back end of his two free throw attempts, Lucas Clanton was fouled on a rebound attempt and with Marshall County now facing foul issues, Clanton stepped to the line for two shots, courtesy of the double bonus.
Clanton’s two free throws gave Cascade a 54-52 lead—a lead the Champs would not surrender through the remainder of the game.
Having went just 2-of-7 from the charity stripe in the first half, Cascade vastly improved its shooting percentage at the free throw line in the second half, posting a 13-of-19 effort over the final two quarters.
While the usual suspects led the Champs in the scoring column, it was the efforts of the bench that kept the game within reach and allowed Cascade to make a push in the second half to secure the road victory.
“They did a good job. We were playing all subs at one point for just a little bit. They came in and kind of held it. It didn’t get a whole worse or a whole lot better. They held it for us and got us through until we got our guys back out,” Lawson said.
Carter led Cascade in the scoring column with 18 points, while Clanton chipped in 17. 
As a team, Cascade saw seven different players score and the Champs added seven made triples.
Having posted 19 points in each of the first two quarters, Marshall County was held to just eight in the third and fourth frames and Davis was limited to just two points in the second half. 
Cascade wrapped up a busy week of action on Friday night at Shelbyville Central, however results were unavailable by press time on Friday. 
 
Cascade 16   7  15 22 — 60
Marshall Co. 19 19    8   8 — 54 
 
Cascade: Justis Carter 18, Lucas Clanton 17, Chance Brown 9, Jackson Davis 7, Jayden Gulick 3, Thomas Gentry 3, Isaac McElroy 3. 
Marshall Co.: Devonte Davis 21, A.J. Jones 12, Omarion Alred 9, Ronnie Lyttle 7, Jayden Hurt 2, Montai Vaughn 2, Kintarius Morris 2. 
3-Point goals: Cascade (7): Clanton 2, Gulick, Brown, Gentry, McElroy, Davis; Marshall Co. (6): Jones 3, Davis 2, Alred. 
Halftime score: Marshall Co. 38, Cascade 23.

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