Sandies Hold on for Win

Grapeland 74 Tyler Heat 69

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – Even though school is out for Christmas break, there is still a little basketball to be played before the mandatory UIL downtime.

On Monday afternoon, the Grapeland Sandies welcomed the Tyler Heat to town for a non-conference game. Grapeland came into the game with a record of 10-6 while the Heat sported a mark of 10-7.

The game was close throughout with neither team being able to pull away from the other. The Sandies opened up double digit leads throughout the game only to see the Heat close the gap. In the end, however, Grapeland managed to hang to win by a final score of 74-69.

As the game got underway, Lele Smith and Omarian Wiley led the way for Grapeland with their interior games. Smith dropped in four and snagged several rebounds he helped turn into points in the paint. Wiley scored from inside and outside as he led the Sandies with nine first quarter points. Cole Goolsby drained a three and Riley Murchison added two as Grapeland led 18-15 after the first eight minutes of play.

Cayden Tomlin paced the Heat with eight points in the opening period of play while Jake Carlile dropped in six and Waker Hartman made one of two from the line to round out the Tyler first quarter scoring.

Zandric Anderson opened the second quarter with a three and then Goolsby knocked down his second three-pointer to put the Sandies up by a score of 26-18 with 5:54 left in the half. A tip-in by Wiley gave Grapeland its first double-digit lead and then back-to-back steals by the Sandies pushed the margin out to a 14-point edge.

Tyler would not go away, however, and trimmed the lead down to six by the break. Carlile added another eight to his total while Tomlin had four. Brayden Cox and Jack Tomlin both chipped in one apiece to help account for the Heat first half point production.

After the break, Riley Murchison began to take over the game. The Sandies pushed their lead back to 10 thanks to seven straight points from Murchison who poured in 11 in the third. Kionte Willis found the scoring column with a three-pointer while both Smith and Wiley chipped in two apiece to help Grapeland maintain a 53-47 lead, with three quarters in the books.

Carlile stayed hot for the Heat as he netted another nine. Cox dropped in five while Hartman had four to close out the third period scoring.

At the start of the final period, Tyler cut the lead to five but Murchison nailed a three and Smith worked his way inside for two as the Sandies opened a 59-49 lead with 5:48 remaining in the game.

After Wiley fouled out, Goolsby was able to draw his second charge of the game which seemed to energize the Grapeland squad. The two teams traded baskets over the next few minutes but the Heat canned a trio of threes while the Sandies were content to make twos.

The Sandies pushed the lead back to 10 as time was winding down but got sloppy and allowed Tyler to hang around. A three-ball from Tomlin trimmed the lead to only two with 1:07 remaining, but a turnover by the Heat led to a three-point play from Smith to salt the game away as Grapeland held on for the 74-69 win.

On the game, Tyler was led in scoring by Jake Carlile with 27 points. Brayden Cox went for 15 while Cayden Tomlin had 12. Jack Tomlin was also in double figures with 10 while Waker Hartman had five to round out the Heat point production.

The Sandies were led in scoring by Riley Murchison with 27 points. Omarian Wiley poured in 16 and Lele Smith netted 15. Zan Anderson had seven points, Cole Goolsby had six and Kionte Willis knocked down a three to help account for the Grapeland scoring.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].  

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