Bulls basketball leads early, falls late at Mount Pleasant

Published 8:51 am Thursday, November 29, 2018

The South Stanly men’s basketball team faced a literal tall task Tuesday night in the team’s home opener at Mount Pleasant.

South, with nine players available for the game, faced a Tigers squad with four players listed on its roster at 6-foot, 6-inches or taller.

Despite a size disadvantage, the Bulls battled to keep the game close. Mount eventually pulled away in the second half with easy put-backs down low, earning a 71-60 win over South.

Justin Gaddy and Tori Colson each scored 13 points to lead South (0-1) while Jacorian LeGrande added 11. All nine players available for the Bulls in the game scored.

Starting point guard Keim Moore and senior center Ryan Bonnett each scored 18 to lead the Tigers (1-0).

The Bulls were strong from long distance in the game but shot a lower percentage inside the arc. South finished 8-of-16 on 3-pointers but 15-of-52 on 2-point shots. For the game, South was 23-of-64 overall (35.9 percent) and also hit 6-of-13 at the foul line.

Mount shot a high percentage on 2-pointers in the game. The Tigers were 27-of-49 inside the arc (55.1 percent) and 3-of-14 from the outside, shooting 30-of-63 overall (47.6 percent). Mount was also 8-of-13 at the free-throw line.

The hosts scored from inside and out in the first minutes of the game to build a 13-3 lead with 4:22 left in the period. South answered with an 11-3 run over the next two minutes and got to within two points, 16-14.

Threes by Addison Tarlton and LeGrande gave South its first lead of the game, 20-18, with 1:42 left in the first. Mount rallied to take the lead in the final 1:22 with four points to lead after one quarter, 22-20.

Trailing by three with 6:58 left in the second, South posted a 9-1 run over the next 1:50, getting points off the bench from Chandler Lowder and Duncan McSwain to lead 31-26.

Mount responded by outscoring the Bulls 11-2 over the final 4:50 of the first half, five coming from Moore. The Tigers led at halftime 37-33.

LeGrande got South within two early in the third with a bucket, but Mount pushed the lead to double digits in the quarter. A late 8-0 run by the Tigers helped the hosts build a 12-point lead at the end of the period 55-43.

The Bulls got as close as seven points with 3:34 left on a Gaddy triple, but an 8-1 stretch over the final three minutes helped the Tigers pull away for the win.

“Our athleticism negated some of (Mount’s) size,” South head coach Sean Whitley said. “Early first half and in the fourth quarter, they got a lot of put-backs and second chances. We didn’t shoot late the way we did in the first half; that’s what made the difference.”

The Bulls travel to East Montgomery (0-1) on Friday.

SS 20 13 10 17 60
MP 22 15 18 16 71

SS – Justin Gaddy 13, Tori Colson 13, Jacorian LeGrande 11, McSwain 7, Lowder 4, Cooke 3, Jones 3, Tarlton 3, Watkins 3.
MP – Keim Moore 18, Ryan Bonnett 18, Price 8, Sloop 8, Fernald 6, Smith 6, Efird 5, Meade 2.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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