Cowboys work overtime, tame Tigers
Less than a week removed from Terrell Leach’s breakout performances in the Sheetz holiday tournament, the Southwest Guilford boys had to play a big chunk of their game against their fiercest rival without him.
And they came through.
After Leach fouled out with 4:37 left in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys rallied from nine points down with 3:48 left to force overtime and scored the first five points in overtime en route to an 86-81 win Friday night in a packed Jim Coggins Gym.
Leach, who scored 54 points against Western Guilford on Saturday in the Sheetz finals, did finish with 24 points while Ben Ferguson followed with 22, including a huge 3-pointer to open overtime in which Southwest never trailed.
“It’s huge for our program,” Southwest coach Guy Shavers said. “We’ve been talking with the rest of the guys since the tournament that we have to have other guys step up. And it wasn’t like Terrell was out for the last minute — he was out the last 10 minutes. ...
“This is just a growing process for our young guys to know what to do in these situations. I think it was huge. I could hear Terrell being one of the biggest cheerleaders over there. He wanted this game, and I think this is one of those things where everyone has to accept and understand his role.”
Joseph Bryant scored 27 points to lead the Tigers (7-8, 1-2 PTC), who twice led by nine in the fourth quarter but held on defensively in the final seconds of regulation to get a block on the final shot and force overtime. Jarratt Holland added 16.
Ragsdale led big early, building an 18-5 lead with 3:42 left in the first, before the Cowboys answered to lead 23-22 heading to the second. Southwest led by as many as eight before going into halftime up 44-38. The Tigers again rallied to lead 62-59 heading to the fourth.
They scored the first six points of the fourth to lead by nine, 68-59, with 6:30 left and again, 75-66, with 3:48 left. In between was a bizarre sequence involving Leach, who also had to change numbers midway in the first half after he was one of several players with blood on their jerseys.
Leach was whistled for an offensive foul, which appeared to be his fourth. But after a three-point play by Ragsdale, the officials, at the prompting of the scorers table, stopped play and ruled it was his fifth during a lengthy delay and then awarded the Tigers an extra free throw.
But after that sequence, everything seemed to go right for Southwest, as it scored the final nine points of regulation — baskets by K.J. Langley and D.J. Chamblee and four free throws by Ferguson tied it 75-all with 1:17 left while Ragsdale committed six turnovers in nine possessions.
In the four-minute overtime, Ferguson hit a 3, followed by Langley with two free throws to lead 80-75 with 2:13 left. The Tigers cut it to three with two minutes left and two with 23 seconds left but couldn’t hit a 3 with 13 seconds left and the Cowboys sealed it with two foul shots.
Both teams play against Tuesday, as Southwest (12-0, 2-0 PTC) hosts Glenn and Ragsdale hosts Northwest Guilford.