by Emily Waldrep
The Spurger Pirates defeated the Legget Mustangs in a close game on Tuesday, February 7. The game determined which team would take the 3rd place spot in playoffs this year, and was a very important game to the team, coaches and fans.
The first quarter started out with the pirates leading five to two. It looked like an easy win for the boys, until Legget quickly tied up the score at five to five with one minute left in the game. Leggett's defense did a great job of throwing off the Pirates rhythm throughout the game, and Spurger didn't make another basket until the last few seconds of the game when Hunter Smith sunk a layup, bringing the score to seven to five at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter began with the Pirates quickly making a basket within the first few seconds to tie up the game seven to seven. As the quarter went on, every basket that Leggett made, Spurger responded by making one of their own and the score stayed tied until the end of the second quarter. The boys went into half time with a score of 13-13.
After halftime the game continued to stay extremely close as both teams fought for a spot in district playoffs. Luke McLeod opened the 3rd quarter by making a two point shot that put the Pirates in the lead 15-13. But, the third quarter went exactly the same as the second, and Leggett wouldn't allow the Pirates to get ahead. The score was tied at 17-17 with six minutes remaining and 24-24 with five minutes remaining. After the five-minute mark in the third quarter, the boys began to come back. Nathan Sheffield scored five unanswered points, putting the pirates in the lead 28-24.
The fourth quarter was a fight to the finish as both teams wanted that 3rd place district spot. Aaron Ford, Colyn Walding, and Luke McLeod all put points up on the board that allowed the Pirates to hold their first place spot. With only two minutes left in the game, the Pirates led 38-32. But Leggett wasn't going to give up. The Mustangs sunk a three point shot with only seconds left in the game, and the fight was back on. They only needed one more three pointer to tie up the game into overtime and the Mustangs went for the shot, but fouled in the process and the Pirates got the ball. Then, another foul on the Mustangs part allowed Hunter Smith to shoot the last shot of the game, a free throw with three seconds left on the clock that leveled to score to 35-39, making it impossible for the Mustangs to bring the game into overtime.
High scorers of the game were Luke McLeod with 13 points and six assist, Colyn Walding with 10 rebounds, two steals and four points, Cody Winkle with six points, and Nathan Sheffield with seven points, one steal and one block.
Coach Odom was proud of his team and his player, and praised the whole team for the win.
"Hunter Smith played well defensively and attacked the basket well on offense. He sank the free throw that put us ahead by four with under a minute remaining. Cody Winkle came of the bench and provided a spark to our offense with his two three pointers in the 3rd quarter. Our offense was really sluggish, so we needed those baskets. Luke McLeod led all scorers in the game with his 13 points. He really kept us in the game with his steady play at guard."
Spurger is now 3rd place in district, and their next game will be against Chester at home on Friday, January 10.