Sandies Cage Bobcats, 80-32

Win Sends Grapeland to Regional Tournament

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

FAIRFIELD – After the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Grapeland Sandies’ defense had allowed an average of 35 points per game while the Grapeland offense had averaged 75 points.

Granted, the first two rounds saw the Sandies beat up on a fourth and a third place team, but this is still the postseason.

The thought going into the Regional Quarterfinals was the Sandies would finally face a test from their competition. Well, suffice it to say, that thought was wrong.

The Sandies tipped off against the Kerens Bobcats on Tuesday, Feb. 26 and after a few brief moments of play, Grapeland’s defense shut down the Kerens’ offense as the Sandies went on to rout the Bobcats by a final score of 80-32.

As the game got underway, the action was fast-paced. Both teams, however, had problems putting the ball in the basket up until about the five-minute mark of the first quarter. That was when the Sandies defense clamped down on the Bobcats and held them to seven points, all from Tyler Carter.

Meanwhile, after the score was tied at two, the Sandies went on a 12-3 run, fueled by the outside shooting of Deco Bryant and the inside play of Cadarian Wiley. In addition, the final two minutes of the quarter saw Josh Ackley block a shot and steal a pass which led to four easy points.

Grapeland’s first quarter points came from Wiley, with eight, Bryant with six and three other Sandies – Keizion Ashford, Keriaun Davis and Rick Frauenberger – all with two apiece to help the Sandies take a 20-7 lead after the first eight minutes of action.

While the Sandies’ defense was good in the first quarter, it was even better in the second as it limited the Bobcats’ to a single, two-point field goal from Carter.

On the offensive side, Bryant flat out tormented the Bobcats as he made a three every way possible. He had an and-one, he knocked down a shot from behind the arc and he made three free throws after he was fouled shooting a three. Bryant also had a layup to start the period which gave him 11 points for the quarter.

Ashford added five and Wiley drained a three to help push the Grapeland lead to 39-9 by the end of the first half.

Following the break, the Kerns’ offense began to show some signs of life as they nearly doubled their first half score. Tyrone Bailey dropped in five points while Carter and Tre Langley both had four. Jamoyah Thomas also put in a two for the Bobcats.

Just as the Kerens offense came out firing, the Grapeland offense did as well. The Sandies smelled blood in the water after the break and effectively put the game out of reach with a 25-point third quarter.

C. Wiley paced the Sandies with seven, third quarter points. Bryant knocked down his fourth and fifth three-pointers of the game, Frauenberger added a three from outside and a two from inside while Ashford netted four. Tyrin Wiley also had three for Grapeland as the Sandies opened up a 64-24 lead by the end of the third period of play.

Demoralized and down by 40 to start the fourth quarter, Kerens only managed eight points during the final eight minutes. Their points came on twos from Bailey, Langley, Ino Garcia and Treylyn Lindsay.

The Sandies milked the clock for the entire period but still hung 16 points on Kerens. Ackley dropped in five while Bryant added three points to his total. Four other Grapeland players – Davis, Frauenberger, T. Wiley and Jack Woodford – all had two apiece as the Sandies demolished the Bobcats by a final score of 80-32.

On the game, the Kerens’ scoring came from Tyler Carter with 13, Tyrone Bailey with seven, and Tre Langley with six. Ino Garcia, Treylyn Lindsay and Jamoyah Thomas chipped in a basket apiece to close out the Bobcats’ scoring.

The Sandies were led in scoring by Deco Bryant with a game-high 26 points. Cadarian Wiley poured in 18 while Keizion Ashford netted 11. Rick Frauenberger knocked down nine points, Tyrin Wiley had five, Keriaun Davis went for four and Jack Woodford chipped in two to close out the Sandie point production.

Following the Grapeland win, Coach Cannon Earp commented on his team’s performance.

“I have never had a team like this,” the coach said with a laugh. “Most of the teams I’ve coached have gotten off to super, energetic starts. I don’t know what it is about this group but sometimes it takes them awhile to get going. I wish I could figure it out but once they get going, they’re hard to stop. Honestly though, the first five minutes aside, I thought this was one of the better games we’ve played in a while.”

The win moved the Sandies into the Regional Semifinals against the Tenaha Tigers on Friday, March 1.

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