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Varsity boys basketballs nail biting loss against the Valdosta Wildcats

Photo credits: M.Rosa

Photo credits: M.Rosa

Photo credits: M.Rosa

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As the varsity girls basketball game came to its end, the varsity guys team came in hard.

“I don’t really get nervous anymore.” #14 Tyler Culbreth (12) said. “I have been playing for so long, I just zone into the game” Culbreth continued saying.

Starting off the game, #3 for Lee was fouled by a Wildcat. In result, two free throw shots for Lee County. The first shot was a miss, and the second shot went in. Quickly after, #14 for Lee goes for a perfect layup and scores two points. As quickly as Lee was on top, the Wildcats took no time to gain lead-way against the Trojans.

“It is very important to be on top. It is all about the momentum. Momentum is huge!” #20 Cole Price (11) said.

The Wildcats gets a two-pointer but quickly fouls out #14 from Lee once again. #14 gets two shots but misses both under pressure. There, a turnover by the Wildcats and a two-pointer. The score now 4-3 Valdosta.

As the clock ticks, #10 for Lee goes for what looks like to be a layup but in return is actually a set up for what is known as an alley-oop. With the ball bouncing off the backboard, #14 grabs the ball and does a perfect slam dunk, scoring two points for the Trojans.

“I felt like Tyler #14 stepped it up most tonight, he was the man of the ball and keep feeding in more and more points.” Javian Johnson (11), #10, said.

With not much time left in the first quarter, the Wildcats take no time to advance on the board. From free throw shots to a turnover against the Trojans, the Wildcats advance their lead against the Trojans with a score of 9-5 Valdosta. The Trojans, still not willing to give up, #14 once again gets two free throw shots as well as #10 with two free throw shots and both make all shots. This doesn’t stop the Wildcats, they fight back getting a two-pointer with only 42 seconds left in this quarter. Unable to gain the lead in the first quarter, Valdosta leads 15-11 over the Trojans.

As the Trojans have a few seconds to regroup and take a breather, the buzzer goes off and its that time again.

The second quarter started off bad for the Trojans, but the Wildcats start off with a two-pointer and then #5 for Valdosta gets a three-pointer. Upset about the lead, #20 goes for a layup with a perfect technique but is told he was supposedly out of bounds, so the layup did not count. Not letting this mess up get in his head, #3 for Lee, gets the rebound from Valdosta and quickly passes the ball to #20 again who now makes a perfect three-point shot, but Valdosta quickly scores another two-pointer.

“I went 1-4 on three-pointers.” Price said. “So that is something I could have improved on as well as I had a couple of blow-bys that should not have happened.”

Price also added,”I play the shoot guard. My job is to make shots, defend, keep the energy going for the guys, rebound, and do whatever necessary to  ensure that the team wins.”

With 3:28 seconds left on the clock, Lee’s head coach, Mr. Kirven Davis (faculty), calls a timeout. Mr. Coach Davis excitedly explains to the players a different approach and they run back onto the court with a different mindset. Valdosta still in the lead 22-14.

As they run back onto the court, #10 goes for a layup but is fouled and is given 2 free throw shots. #10 misses the first but gets the second. #14 for Lee, jumps up and goes for an amazing slam dunk but it slips out of his grip and he misses. Not giving up, he grabs his own rebound and goes for a two-pointer scoring for Lee.

With around two minutes left on the clock, an argument breaks out between the umpire and Mr. Coach Davis. They both argue of a call by the umpire saying that #20 for Lee fouled one of the Valdosta players and now Valdosta gets two free shots. Regardless if #2o did foul off this Valdosta player, the umpire changes his first call but still gives this player one free shot instead of the original two.

Valdosta still going 90 to nothing scores a two-pointer and then fouls #14 once again. #14 gets two free shots and gets one of the two free throw shots. #14 again gets his own rebound but a turnover by Valdosta occurs and Valdosta gets another two-pointer. With only 50.95 seconds left until halftime, Valdosta calls a timeout.

Once the time is over, the Wildcats start off with another three-pointer. Lee holds on defensive wise and Valdosta scores no more. With barely two seconds left, #14 gets a rebound, passes it to #10 who quickly throws the ball from half court and the buzzer sounds. It is finally halftime.

“Coach told us we needed to make better adjustments and fix things going wrong, but overall he seemed very confident,” Culbreth told us.

Johnson #10 also added,”He just told us we needed to play better and go harder.”

Johnson is the starting point guard for Lee County.”I play point guard.” He told said. “My job is to be vocal and to know what everybody does on certain plays. I just have to control the game and it just comes down to being coach-able.” Johnson explained.

With halftime over, the Trojans step onto the court this time with more aggression than ever. This can be seen when one of the first plays of the game is another beautiful slam dunk by #14. Many free throw shots are made on both sides teams. The score increasing fast, but Valdosta still leading 38-33.

As time goes by faster then it did last quarter, Lee calls a timeout. With 4:28 seconds left on the clock.

As Lee jumps back on the court, #4 for Lee goes for a 3 pointer and scores. Then, Valdosta goes for a layup and gets two points. #14 gets a rebound off the backboard and dribbles towards his net but is tripped up by a Wildcat.

“I am the rim protector.,” Culbreth #14 says. “My job is to keep people from scoring by blocking shots and getting rebounds.”

After the trip up by #14, #10 is able to scoop the ball up but in the process gets a foul, #10 gets one free throw shot and gets it. The score now closer than ever, 41-38 Valdosta.

Soon enough, #25 for Lee and #10 get fouled and tie the score! But then, Valdosta gets a two-pointer and Lee loses their lead with a score of 43-40.

With time almost over in the third quarter,  #4 for Lee gets a turnover and then #15 for Valdosta gets a three-pointer. Thus the third quarter ends with the score of 46-42 Valdosta.

With the pressure higher than ever going in the fourth and final quarter of tonight’s game Johnson #10 tells us,”I prepared by locking in tonight and listening to music to get me focused. The team, however, prepared by watching film of the other team.”

The biggest thing Johnson emphasized on tonight was “We have been working on being more of a team, staying focused, and working together.”

The question is, will the Trojans be able to come together and succeed or will they come together and die trying.

With the fourth quarter in process, Valdosta begins with a two-point shot. Then a foul on Lee County’s #4, two free throw shots. The score going from 46-42 to now 47-48 Valdosta leading by one point!

Valdosta calls another timeout, which gives the Trojans some time to breathe and refresh.

The game starts back with #14 getting fouled and he gets two free throw shots but misses both. Both Valdosta and Lee go for layups and both receive two points. #10 goes for a rebound and makes an amazing play but this is unable to stop Valdosta from getting another two points.

#4 for Lee tries for a three-pointer but misses, but this showing their perseverance of Lee. As the game goes on, Valdosta continues getting foul after foul on them and have many free throw shots. This making the score now 56-50 Valdosta.

With Valdosta still in the lead, Lee calls a timeout with only 53.5 seconds on the clock, but yet again the game came down to the free throw shots that Lee County allowed Valdosta to get due to fouls. So with now 51.4 seconds left on the clock, Valdosta calls another timeout.

When the buzzer is back on, #5 for Lee goes for a three-pointer and scores. Then Valdosta yet again gets another two-point free throw shot. As the clock ticks down, the Trojans never give up. Now with 18.45 seconds left, #20 keeps the momentum going by laying down the perfect formation of a layup, but regardless of the efforts made by the Trojans tonight, they were unable to gain the lead against the Valdosta Wildcats.

The final score 68-58 Valdosta.

“I feel like we competed and played very hard and as a team tonight.” Johnson #10 said. “It honestly came down to the last few plays and free throws shots that should not have happened,” Johnson added.

Culbreth#14 also had to say this,”I say that our point guard, #10,  really stepped it up tonight, he kept everybody calm and made sure everything was going smoothly. Good job tonight Javian.”

Although tonight was a hard loss against the Trojans, the game was by far a game to be reckoned with. The Lee County Varsity Boys team plays again Saturday, February 3rd at 8:30.

Come out and support these amazing players and watch awesome talent here at the Lee County High School gym!

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Varsity boys basketballs nail biting loss against the Valdosta Wildcats