Advance to Championship Bracket
By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – The Houston County Holiday Tournament tipped off on Thursday with the Grapeland Sandies taking on the Malakoff Tigers in Grapeland.
The Sandies and Tigers played to a standstill as the score was tied at 15 after the first eight minutes of play.
As the second quarter got underway, the Sandies began to pull away from the Tigers, but every time Grapeland would go on a run, Malakoff would strike back.
When the horn sounded at halftime, however, Grapeland had opened up a five point lead and led 30-25 after the first two quarters of play. First half scoring leaders for the Sandies were Keriaun Davis and Rick Frauenberger, both with eight.
Malakoff was paced in the first half by Andreas Garrett and Jaquaylon Hart who both dropped in seven points before the intermission.
The Tigers began to cut into the Grapeland lead after the break and whittled it down to three by the end of the quarter.
With the score 43-40 at the beginning of the final quarter, the Sandies – led by Javion Joseph with eight points and BJ Howard with eight – owned the fourth quarter to win the game by a score of 64-52.
The Sandies were led by three players in double figures against the Tigers. These were: BJ Howard with 20; Javion Joseph with 15; and Rick Frauenberger with 10.
The Tigers were led in scoring by Andreas Garrett with 16 points, while Jaquaylon Hart and Kederrius Thomas both had nine.
On Friday, the Sandies opened their day at 10 a.m. with a rivalry game against the Slocum Mustangs.
As the game got underway, it seemed as if the Grapeland players were still asleep. Slocum opened up with a 15-12 lead after the first quarter of play.
The Mustangs led throughout the second quarter – until the 34 second mark – when Grapeland took its first lead of the game and went into the break leading by a score of 31-30.
The Sandies’ first half scoring leader was Tyrin Wiley with seven points while the Mustangs were paced by Jacob Lane with 11. It should be noted the two teams combined for 13 3-pointers in the half, with Grapeland knocking down seven and Slocum na
After the intermission, the Sandies opened up their biggest lead before settling for a 46-42 score with eight minutes remaining.
To their credit, the Mustangs would not go away as they would simply not allow Grapeland to go on one of their patented, defense inspired runs. Slocum cut the lead to one during the fourth quarter but a reverse layup by Keriaun Davis gave Grapeland a three point cushion as the Sandies held on to win by a final score of 54-51.
The Sandies were led in points by Tyrin Wiley with 11 while Deco Bryant and BJ Howard scored nine apiece.
Slocum was paced by Jacob Lane with 17 and Taylor Hunt with 14 points.
The win moved the Sandies into the Gold Championship Bracket where they faced the China Spring Cougars at 6 p.m. on Friday night. Unfortunately, the score of that game was not available as of press time.
With the loss, the Mustangs fell to 0-2 in Pool Play and faced the Elkhart Elks on Friday afternoon in the Bronze Championship Bracket.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.