Grapeland Takes Third in Martin’s Mill Tournament
By Will Johnson
MARTIN’S MILL – The Grapeland Sandies played in the Bryan Mewbourn Basketball Tournament – held in Martin’s Mill over this past weekend – and brought home the third place trophy with a win over the Mabank Panthers by a final score of 50-35.
The Sandies went 3-0 as they opened up the tournament in pool play with a win over Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill by a score of 60-36. Grapeland followed that up with wins over Graford, 59-49, and Bland by a score of 65-34.
The three wins placed the Sandies in the Championship Bracket where they faced the East Chambers Buccaneers in the tournament semifinals and what a game it was.
Grapeland trailed through most of the game but overcame a five-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to tie things up at 58 by the end of regulation. In the first OT period, the Sandies had a chance to win but a desperation three by East Chambers’ Ernest Ceasar went in to tie the game and send it into a second overtime.
In the second OT, the Bucs – ranked #2 in Class 3A – pulled away from Grapeland to win by a final of 77-71.
Less than three hours later, the Sandies were back on the court to take on the Mabank Panthers in the third place game.
The Panthers had lost the first semifinal game to the host Martin’s Mill Mustangs by a score
of 47-41 and both teams seemed a little sluggish as the third place game got underway.
Mabank jumped out to an early 11-9 lead after the first eight minutes of play as Caleb Dally scored seven while Noah Johnston and Gavin Scrimshire both had two.
The Sandies points came from Rick Frauenberger with four, BJ lamb with three and Tyrin Wiley with two.
In the second quarter, the Panthers seemed to control the tempo of the game, but the Sandies kept hanging around and took the lead just before halftime on a pair of free throws from Keizion Ashford.
Ashford and Frauenberger paced the Sandies in the second quarter with four apiece. Lamb hit his second three of the game and Deco Bryant added a pair from the charity
stripe to give Grapeland a 22-20 lead at the break.
Devyn Gibbs netted four for the Panthers while Dally hit a three and Cade Bell dropped in two to round out the first half scoring for Mabank.
The Sandies relied on their defense to give themselves a little cushion heading into the fourth quarter. Dally had five for Mabank and Gibbs had three, but that was all the Panthers could muster as the Sandies led 33-28 with eight minutes left to play.
Grapeland got threes from Bryant and Josh Ackley while Frauenberger and T. Wiley chipped in two. Cadarian Wiley converted one of two from the line to put the Sandies up by five as the two teams headed into the final period.
The Grapeland defense appeared to wear down the Panthers as Landry Johnson with four and Cade Bell with three were the only points allowed by the Sandies.
Meanwhile, the Sandies pulled away from Mabank to secure the 50-35 win and took third place in the tournament. The Sandies were led in the final quarter by Javion Joseph with six, while Lamb and Wiley both had five. Ashford made one of two from the line to round out the Grapeland scoring.
Mabank was led in scoring by Caleb Dally with 15 points. Other scorers for the Panthers were: Devyn Gibbs with seven; Cade Bell with five; Landry Johnson with four; and both Noah Johnston and Gavin Scrimshire with two apiece.
The Sandies were led in scoring by BJ Lamb with 11 points. Rick Frauenberger powered his way to 10 and Tyrin Wiley, who was named to the All-Tournament team, h
ad nine. Javion Joseph connected on a pair of three pointers, while both Deco Bryant and Keizion Ashford had five each. Josh Ackley nailed a three and Cadarian Wiley made one of two from the line to account for the Grapeland point production.
Following the conclusion of the game, Coach Cannon Earp discussed the tournament and his team’s performance.
“We’re not really focused on trophies at this time of year. We’re just trying to get some games in. We’re just two weeks out of football and I’m pleased with how the weekend went. This is
always the toughest time of the year for us, especially after a lot of football success and playing for a long time,” he said.
“I think we’ve played 10 or 11 games now,” he continued, “and we’ve only had four or five practices. I told the guys – right now – a lot of the things we do are on the fly. They are adjusting pretty well and our only loss in the tournament was a six-point loss in double overtime to the second ranked team in Class 3A.”
Earp also commented on his team’s sluggishness in the first half against Mabank and he said it was always difficult to play two games on a championship Saturday but added the Sandies ended the second quarter on an 8-0 run and continued with the momentum as the third quarter got underway.
Asked if Mabank ran out of gas or if the Sandies defense caused the lack of point production, Earp commented it was a little of both.
“One of the things I can say right now is we are pretty sound, defensively. We’re able to do some different things and play some different ways,” he said.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.