On Feb. 26, the Lawrence County Wildcats came to Roy Sewell gymnasium to take on the Warriors. The winner would move on to Tullahoma and take on the Page High School Patriots to see who would make it to the Regional Finals contest. The loser would prepare for the 22-23 basketball season.
The game began with Lawrence County controlling the tip. The Wildcats went up 2-0, scoring on their first possession. After hitting their second basket, the Wildcats held a 4-0 early lead. The Warriors called a timeout, with 6:37 left in the quarter. Lawrence County responded with a basket and held a 6-0 lead. Japheth Richmond scored Sparta's first basket, with 4:53 left in the quarter. Tomas Paul hit a 3 to bring the Warriors within 1. The Wildcats answered with a 3, with 1:07 left in the first quarter. With 36.7 seconds left in the quarter, Paul was fouled on his made basket and made the bonus to draw the Warriors within 1. Tripp Pinion attempted a long shot at the buzzer that was no good, so the Wildcats held a 9-8 lead over the Warriors after one quarter.
White County had the ball to start the second quarter. After a Warrior’s miss, the Wildcats had the ball and were fouled and went 1-2 from the line. The Warriors’ first lead came off a Jake Davis 3-pointer, 11-10. The Wildcats' two missed free throws gave Sparta the ball, and Paul scored a basket to extend the lead. Thomas Brock hit a 3 to extend the lead to 6. Lawrence County used a timeout and scored a 3-pointer on the next play. Pinion traded baskets with Lawrence County to keep the Warriors ahead 18-15. Pinion went to the line and missed both free throws but redeemed himself by making a basket and the bonus after being fouled on the play, giving the Warriors a 21-15 lead, with 2:02 left in half. Pinion took a charge, and the Warriors had the ball with 51.5 seconds left in the half. After a Warrior turnover, the Wildcats attempted a shot at the buzzer that was no good. The Warriors held a 21-15 lead at the half.
The Wildcats started the second half with the ball and scored to pull within 4. White County's Paul hit a 3 at 1:10 into the third quarter. The next possession Lawrence County answered with a 3 of their own. After a Wildcat timeout, Lawrence County scored two baskets to tie the game at 24-24. A Lawrence County 3-pointer put the Wildcats ahead 27-24. Jake Davis and the Wildcats traded 3-pointers to end the quarter, and the Warriors trailed 30-27 after 3.
The fourth quarter turned out to be the quarter needed by the Warriors. Less than a minute into the quarter Brock hit a 3 to tie the game. The Wildcats answered with a 3 of their own. A basket by Japheth Richmond and two quick 3-pointers by Davis gave the Warriors a 5-point lead. A 3-pointer by Lawrence County and a timeout by Lawrence County, with 5:02 left in the game, saw a 2-point lead for the Warriors. Paul went to the line for the Warriors and went 2-2. A 3-point play by the Wildcats narrowed the lead to 1 for the Warriors. With 1:41 left in the game, Pinion was fouled on his made basket but came up short at the free-throw line. With a 3-point lead for the Warriors, both teams' scramble for the ball led to a jump ball, and the possession arrow was in favor of the Wildcats.
On Sparta's next possession, a timeout was called, with 43.8 seconds left in the game. Pinion was fouled and went 2-2 from the line. With 21.6 seconds left in the game, Pinion was fouled, sending him to the line to shoot a 1 and 1; after missing the first shot, a scramble for the ball occurred, and the ball was given to Sparta. During the play, a technical foul was called on the Wildcats. Paul went to the line and went 2-2 for the Warriors. With 18.9 seconds left on the clock, it was Sparta's ball. Davis was fouled and missed the front end of a one and one. Pinion was fouled and went to the line and went 2-2. The clock expired, and the Warriors had gotten the win 48-39 and were headed to Tullahoma to play in the Regional Semi-Final against Page High School.
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