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Sandies Pecked by Blue Jays

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Snook 49 Grapeland 41

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – The Grapeland Sandies welcomed the Snook Blue Jays to town on Friday, Dec. 21 for a matinee basketball game. The Sandies came into the game with a 7-3 record and a #4 ranking in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) while the Blue Jays were ranked #18 by the TABC and had an 8-3 mark.

It should have been a good game – and it was score-wise – but overall the Sandies looked like they were tired and playing to get to their Christmas break throughout most of the contest.

Grapeland went away from the inside game and began to rely too much on the three. The Sandies’ defense was still tough but while Grapeland had become accustomed to gathering up the majority of loose balls created by their trapping defense, Snook was sure-handed, for the most part, and kept the turnovers to a minimum.

As a result, the transition baskets Grapeland feasts upon simply weren’t there as Snook used a strong fourth quarter to pull away and hand the Sandies a 49-41 loss.

A good crowd was in attendance at the Grapeland gym as the Sandies and Blue Jays tipped off at 4 p.m. The first quarter was less than stellar for Grapeland as they only managed six points on a three from BJ Lamb, a two from Tyrin Wiley and a free throw by Rik Frauenberger.

The Blue Jays didn’t o a whole lot better as they bested the Sandies first quarter scoring by two and took an 8-6 lead after the first eight minutes of play. Damonta Allen and Chris Tilmon both had three while Lance Vajdak had two.

As the second quarter got underway, the Grapeland offense seemed to find a rhythm that was missing in the first quarter. Javion Joseph knocked down a pair of three point bombs while Deco Bryant had one of his own. Both Frauenberger and Cadarian Wiley had two as Lamb made one of two from the line.

Vajdak paced the Blue Jays with five while four other Snook players – Allen, Antonio Davis, Kohl Junek and KJ Macik – all had two as Snook took a 21-20 lead into the locker room at halftime.

After the break, the two teams went nearly three minutes without a score. Bryant drained a three at the five minute mark to take the lid off of the basket as the Sandies took their first lead since the early minutes of the first quarter.

Bryant hit another three for six points in the quarter while C. Wiley added five to tie the game at 31 after three quarters were in the books.

Snook had five players drop in two during the third as they knotted the score with eight minutes remaining to play. Allen, Junek, Macik, Vajdak and Kaleb Roberson accounted for the 10 Blue Jay points.

With the game tied at 31, Snook went on a 6-0 run to open the fourth quarter and never looked back. Macik and Vajdak dropped in five apiece for the Blue Jays, while both Allen and Roberson knocked down three. Davis chipped in two to round out the Snook scoring as the Blue Jays pulled away to win by a final score of 49-41.

The Grapeland fourth quarter points came from C. Wiley and T. Wiley with three each while Bryant and Lamb both had two apiece to close out the Grapeland point production.

On the game, Snook was led in scoring by Lance Vajdak with 15 points and Damonta Allen with 10. KJ Macik dropped in nine, Kaleb Roberson added five, Antonio Davis and Kohl Junek had four each while Chris Tilmon chipped in two.

The Sandies were led in scoring by Deco Bryant with 11 and Cadarian Wiley with 10. Javion Joseph and BJ Lamb had six apiece, Tyrin Wiley had five and Rick Frauenberger added three.

The Sandies are back in action on Thursday, Dec. 27 as they begin pool play in the Houston County Tournament against the Krum Bobcats.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.