It’s 17:06 seconds left in regulation and Isaiah Crawley(Ripley) has the ball. He sizes his man up and has space to go to work, he takes about 2 or 3 dribbles, then he attacks the basket and scores to give Ripley a 70-69 advantage. Now that’s all well and good but what you don’t know is, Ripley took the lead after being down by 16 points, just minutes before this basket was made.
It was a packed house in Saul E. Moore gymnasium and the fans from this long-time rivalry had been exchanging trash talk back and forth all game, as usual. You see, the Haywood Tomcats are the reigning AA state champions, and their fans are quick to remind you of that fact. But on this night, it’s about who wanted it more at the end. Haywood saw that 16 point lead be cut in half while it was about 2 minutes left to play. Haywood had a chance to break Ripley’s heart, as they have done before, but when Tristan Jarrett’s(Haywood) last shot attempt rolled around the cylinder and came out of the rim to the floor and the clock read 0:00, it was over and Ripley won the District Championship over it’s greatest rival. Once Ripley started applying pressure and getting a couple of easy buckets, the players started to gain their confidence back and were more engaged in the game, and instead of folding at the end, the Tigers rose to the occasion and took the District Championship. BTSE would like to say congratulations to not only Coach Starks & the RHS Basketball team, but also to Coach Dancy & the Haywood Tomcats. It was another great game to add to this storied rivalry. We wish you nothing but the best as both teams now focus on the regional tournament.
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