In the first half both teams managed to keep their foul totals low despite struggling to put points on the board. Both teams failed to put up more than 10 points in either of the first two quarters of play, but by the end of the half Willard managed to gain a 19-17 advantage.
Both teams came out playing extremely physical basketball in the second half of the game, but Willard capitalized on Rogersville’s foul trouble and managed to put up 15 points in the third quarter of play. The Wildcats, however, couldn’t overcome the stifling defensive play and superior rebounding of the Tigers and managed only five points in the third.
The Wildcats came dangerously close to bringing the game into overtime in the 4th quarter, but were ultimately forced to start fouling in order to slow down the clock and sent several Willard players to the free throw line. The Tigers capitalized once again, even though the Wildcats outscored them by 3 points in the quarter.
Willard junior Chris Hendrix led the Tigers with 17 points and was 5 of 9 from the free throw line. The Wildcats were led by freshman guard Marcus Gorman with 12 points while junior guard Corbin Medley added 10 points.
The game seemed to have been won at the free-throw line. The victorious Tigers were 16 of 23 at the charity stripe. The Wildcats had only eight attempts, but managed to convert on seven of them.
“There were three keys to the game we wanted to dominate: contain, contest and win the rebound battle,” said Willard Head Coach Lamont Frazier after the game. “We knew we would have to defend hard all game, and to do that we had to adjust.
“At one point we were down by seven points and we were able to go on a 9-0 run, and we never gave up the lead. Teams have to adjust constantly if they want to win.”
Rogersville fell to 7-6 on the year and will host Hollister on Friday. Willard improved to 6-6 on the season and will host Ozark on Friday.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Willard 10 9 15 16 50
Rogersville 9 8 5 19 41
Willard: Cainen McGinnis-10, Landon Anderson-3, Zakorey Barr-3, Skyler Baker-8, Kolbe Kinghorn-3, Chris Kendrix-17, Brent Hrebec-6
Rogersville: Brock Gipson-2, Marcus Gorman- 12, Corbin Medley- 10, Ben Vinyard- 6, Bailey Jenkins- 4, Aaron Freeman- 7