Not all rallies the same

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 27, 2003

The two games in Brundidge were similar, but ended vastly different.

Both Pike County basketball teams rallied in the fourth quarter, but only one team pulled off the win against visiting Central-Hayneville. The boys' team fought back from a 30-21 fourth-quarter deficit, but Jeremy Steele hit two free throws with five seconds left to ice the game 36-34. The girls, though, overcame a 41-32 fourth-quarter deficit to get a 53-47 overtime win.

The Pike County boys' team was put out of its game plan by a slow-paced offense by the Lions. Central started milking the clock in the third quarter, running the four-quarters offense.

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The plan nearly backfired as the Bulldogs chipped away at the lead. The Lions' final possession began with two minutes remaining, and the Lions again went to the four quarters. Steele was fouled driving to the basket and hit both free throws.

Pike County tried to hit a long three at the buzzer, but the shot was off target. Chris Nickson and Nick Walker played a big part in the come back. Nickson had all eight of his points in the second half and Walker scored six of his eight after the break.

The girls' team won on a redemptive shot. Although Wennica Foster had her normal unbelievable night (31 points), the Lady Bulldogs began to rally behind the shooting of Tonisha Smith.

Smith scored two buckets to cut the lead to 41-36 and scored a total of six points as the Lady Bulldogs put together a 12-3 run to tie the game at 43.

Smith had a chance to put her team ahead 20 seconds left. She got to the foul line with the game knotted at 45, but missed both free throws. Her team mates helped her out, though, and got the game into overtime.

Once in overtime, Smith got another chance to be the hero. Foster found her wide open for a long two-point attempt and she nailed it. The basket put Pike County ahead to stay at 48-46. She added two more hoops to put away the Lady Lions. Of her 15 points, 12 came in the fourth quarter or overtime.

"Tonisha's a real good ball player," Pike County coach Leroy Bryant said. "She's been playing a long time, so she's not afraid out there when she needs to play well."