UNION — The Sims Middle School boys basketball team settled the score with Woodruff last week while picking up a 50-44 win in its final home game of the season.
The Tigers entered the contest looking for some redemption after falling to the Wolverines at the beginning of the season in an overtime thriller.
The story of the first half was Sims’ stifling defense. Coach Cam Willis called it the “best half of defense we’ve played all year.”
Shi Smith and Ty Washington set the tone for the Tigers offensively last Thursday, scoring all 10 of the team’s first quarter points. Sims added 12 more in the second period and led 22-9 at intermission.
“I told my guys at half time that if we were going to win, it would have to be a complete team effort,” said Willis. “We got contributions from every single player in that locker room.”
The start of the second half resembled the start of the first with Sims quickly pushing the lead to 19 points in the third quarter. Midway through the frame the teams began trading buckets, rarely missing a shot and the Tigers held a 12 point lead heading into the fourth.
Woodruff turned up the pressure and caused Sims to commit some costly turnovers. With time running down and the lead evaporating the Tigers seemed to be in a little trouble. Jason Rodgers added a basket before he was forced to the bench with five fouls and Smith followed shortly after.
Despite having struggled all year at the free throw line, Sims made itself at home there on Thursday night and it proved to be the difference maker in the game.
Dabreon Scott, Shi Smith, Devin Richards, and Quadrik Smith all combined to go 5-for-6 down the stretch to seal the win.
“We played pretty good defense in the first half which allowed us to build a lead, and we took care of the ball and finally made some free throws down the stretch,” said Willis. “I’m really proud of these boys tonight. They came out with a lot of energy and I could tell they wanted this win.
“We had a very different practice yesterday and I went against what I normally do on days before our games,” Willis added. “I wasn’t too pleased with some things and I got on them a little bit. We ended up having probably our best practice and it translated over into the game tonight. It’s been a difficult season but I am extremely proud of these boys for not quitting and giving everything they had.”
Sports Editor Tiffany Grady-Hudgins can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by cell at (864) 251-4330.