The Leesville Pride (2-2) came up short against the Smithfield Selma Spartans (2-5) at home. A nail-biting 4th quarter saw Leesville take the lead, only to lose it in the closing seconds.
“We did not make free throws, and we got into a track meet instead of a basketball game,” said Coach Frazier. “The biggest thing we’ll have to do is stay patient and stay calm.”
The Pride started fast, scoring the first points with a Greyson Kelley steal and fastbreak layup. Their first 3 defensive possessions ended with 3 steals, and 10 total straight points. At one point in the 1st quarter, the score was 15-2 Leesville.
However, the Spartans fought back, and a hard tip-in jam from Quantez Leach made it 18-14 early in the 2nd quarter. Perhaps the highlight of the night for Leesville came with 4 minutes in the second quarter, when freshman Alex Hunter hit a spinning layup in between two Smithfield-Selma defenders after the steal.
Late in the second the Spartans took the lead, but a buzzer beating layup from Greyson Kelley gave the Pride the advantage heading into halftime, 32-31.
Almost mirroring their start to the game, Leesville kicked off the second half with an 8-0 run. Once again, they gave the lead up. The score was tied at 47 all until Smithfield Selma took the lead going into the final quarter after a fading-away, buzzer-beating three-pointer from Leach.
The 4th quarter saw none of the momentum-swinging runs that defined the earlier quarters. It was a back and forth affair, with multiple lead changes and ties. Once again it was Leach drawing oohs and ahhs from the crowd, with a soaring tomahawk jam midway through the 4th.
Yet the Pride had a 3 point lead in the final minute, and held the ball until Smithfield Selma decided to foul.
A missed free throw on the one-and-one from Brandon Staves lead to a layup from Zay Best, and the Spartans trimmed the lead to 59-58. Then, Leesville after missed out on another one-and-one opportunity, Smithfield Selma made another layup to grab the lead, 60-59.
The Pride had 5.6 seconds to score after a timeout. The play was for senior captain Brandon Staves, who came in down the middle and missed on a controversially high-contact layup.
“We haven’t hustled as much as we could’ve in the past couple days, so [we have] to change that up,” said Ben Zemonek, junior. “We’re playing Green Hope next, so that’s our focus.”
Thank you, I really appreciate it! Although, I think the 2nd article you are referring to was written by Ben Pope.
I’ve really enjoyed all three of your basketball articles this season. I announce the home games, and what you’ve written mirrors what I’ve seen from the scorer’s table. You capture the facts and the tenor of the games very effectively. You write very well. Keep up the good work!