Home Sports Slocum Holds Off Groveton, 56-47

Slocum Holds Off Groveton, 56-47

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By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

SLOCUM – Desperate times call for desperate measures. Sometimes it works, but other times it doesn’t. Such was the case on Tuesday night when the Groveton Indians came roaring back from a double-digit deficit against the Slocum Mustangs to put a scare in the home team.

The Indians trailed by 12 to open the fourth quarter but quickly cut the lead to single-digits thanks to some red-hot shooting from three-point land. Groveton also started to employ a hack-a-Mustang strategy and it would have worked, except Slocum managed to convert 15 of 22 from the line to hold off the Indians and escape with a 56-47 victory.

While the game got tight near the end, it certainly didn’t start out that way as the Mustangs defense shut out the Indians in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, on the offensive end of the court, Slocum knocked down 14 points to take a 14-0 lead after the first eight minutes of play. Lex Rich worked inside for a pair of baskets while Ryan LaRoche and Stratton Wendell both hit from behind the arc. Mark Guess and Jose Molina added two apiece to round out the first quarter scoring.

Groveton finally got on the board in the second quarter when Bryon Thomas drained a three-pointer. Wyatt Snead also dropped in three while Jarrett Loftin added a basket to close out the first half point production for the Indians.

LaRoche and Wendell both hit a three-ball for Slocum in the second quarter while Guess and Rich added two apiece to send the Mustangs into the locker room at halftime with a 24-8 lead.

Following the break, Groveton began to chip away at the deficit. Loftin began to heat up as he put in seven points in the third quarter. Snead and Daiton Chandler added two apiece to help trim the margin to 12, with three periods in the books.

LaRoche hit his third three of the game in the third for Slocum while Molina and Rich both had a bucket to help the Mustangs take a 31-19 lead into the final period of play.

As the fourth quarter got underway, Loftin caught fire for the Indians. The sophomore wing knocked down four three-pointers to go along with three-of-four shooting from the charity stripe. Chandler and Snead both had four, Thomas hit a three and Ian Utz chipped in two.

While Groveton was lighting it up from behind the arc, when the Mustangs had the ball, the Indians would foul in order to send Slocum to the line in the hopes they would miss. Unfortunately for the visitors, they kept fouling the wrong guy. Molina went to the line 10 times and converted nine, to go along with a pair of buckets from the perimeter.

Wendell dropped in seven while LaRoche and Jesse Pierce both hit two from the stripe. Guess also made one from the line as Slocum held off the Indians long enough to pick up the 56-47 win.

The victory solidifies the Mustangs’ playoff chances and with games against Latexo, Leon and Centerville remaining, Slocum has a real shot at moving up into the second seed out of District 20-2A.

On the game, Groveton was led in scoring by Garrett Loftin with a game-high 24 points. Wyatt Snead added nine while Daiton Chandler and Bryon Thomas both had six. Ian Utz chipped in a basket to close out the Indians’ point production.

The Mustangs were led by three players in double figures. Jose Molina paced Slocum with 17, Stratton Wendell had 13 and Ryan LaRoche netted 11. Lex Rich dropped in eight, Mark Guess had five and Jesse Pierce closed out the scoring for Slocum with two.

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

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