No. 1 Raiders hold off Sipsey Valley


Greensboro’s Deuntaye Davis (32) attempts a shot over Sipsey Valley’s Juston Smith-Wells (23) during the first quarter of their game Tuesday night at Sipsey Valley High School. Greensboro, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, won, 69-63. (Photo by Jason Harless)


BUHL | The Greensboro Raiders looked like the top-ranked team in Class 3A when they opened up a substantial lead in the first half Tuesday night. Sipsey Valley, the host team, fought back.

Greensboro held off a rally to secure a 69-63 victory in the Class 3A, Area 6 game.

"We played really well in the first quarter," Greensboro coach Marty Everett said. "Toward the very end of the second quarter we had a few lapses defensively and gave up a bucket right there just before halftime. In the third quarter, we didn’t come out and play with the same intensity. In the fourth quarter, we kept them in the game by continuing to miss free throws."

Greensboro (17-2, 4-0) made seven of 18 foul shots in the fourth quarter.

"They started fouling to extend the game and stop the clock," Everett said. "We got up there and missed free throws. Then they would come down and score. They were able to hit some contested shots. We’ve just got to do a better job on free throws. It was just a lack of concentration on our part, but it’s something we will work on."

Greensboro’s Kiemondre Turner made four of eight free throws in the final minute, and Jamarcus Gray accounted for the final point when he made one of two foul shots with 7 seconds left.

Sipsey Valley (17-4, 2-1) trailed 41-22 at halftime and 54-39 at the start of the fourth quarter. The Bears cut the deficit to 64-58 on a layup by Braylan Smith. After Turner hit two free throws, he came up with a steal and got fouled. He missed both foul shots, and Sipsey Valley’s Palmer Cabaniss nailed a 3-pointer to make it 66-61.

Turner made one free throw with 34 seconds left and another with 21 seconds remaining. Sipsey Valley’s last basket came when Jamarius Leatherwood scored with an offensive rebound.

Donald King, who scored six straight points in the fourth quarter, had 20 points and five assists for Greensboro. Jimmie Taylor, a 6-foot-9 University of Alabama signee, scored 17 points and had six rebounds and five blocked shots. Turner had 13 points, and JeVontey Smith had eight. Gray recorded four assists.

Juston Smith-Wells scored 16 points to lead Sipsey Valley. Rasheed Worrell, a 6-7 center, had 14 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Leatherwood scored 11 points. Garret Lewis and Smith scored seven points each. Smith had six assists, and Lewis made four steals.

"We don’t believe in moral victories," Sipsey Valley coach Kevin Austin said. "We’ve got 11 guys in that locker room that are hurting. We came into this game 17-3. We still think we’re one of the top 10 3A teams in the state. I think we showed it for three quarters tonight. We just came out the first quarter and got taken out of some stuff that we ordinarily do. We lost our composure a little bit.

"We came back and won the second, third and fourth quarters, but we just can’t fall behind like that and expect to win. It just takes too much energy out of you. We talked about being more aggressive. We came out in the second half and ran some full-court pressure and upped the tempo a little bit. We started getting back to doing some things we like to do.

"Give Greensboro the credit. They’re obviously the best team in the state. We don’t think we’re too far behind."

Greensboro will host R.C. Hatch on Friday. Sipsey Valley plays at Holy Spirit on Friday.

 

Reach Andrew Carroll at andrew.carroll@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0223.