Feb. 17, 2011 - After a two-win, two-loss week, the varsity Tigers found themselves in a two-way tie for third place with Rivercrest Monday. That, however, could change as district contender Paris-Chisum was scheduled for a game after press time Tuesday, and - if they win - would make the tie a three-way fight.
Head Coach Jeff Smith said Tuesday that if there happened to be a three-way tie, the three teams would play Friday and Saturday to determine which team would clench the final play-off spot. If Paris-Chisum loses, Rivercrest and Leonard will play Friday for the position.
The first game of the four-game week was on Feb. 7 against Rivercrest at home. The first period found the teams putting up shot for shot and resulted in a tie at 14 when the quarter ended. Storm Taylor took charge of the scoring for Leonard, putting up a 3-pointer, two 2's and a free throw for eight points in the first. Tyler Turner added four and Christian Lyday chipped in two. The Tigers lost control of the game in the second, giving up 11 points and only hitting four - a two from Jacob Redmon and two from Aaron Shanks. The Tigers showed signs of life in the third when several teammates found their sweet spots on the court and added tallies for the home team. Blake Hicks, T. Turner, Shanks and Max Scoggins each hit a double and Scoggins, Ty Lynn and Taylor tossed in freebies for the Tigers 13-point third quarter total. They, however, still found themselves down by five 36-31. The final quarter is the determining factor, and the Tigers faced it with confidence. Their free-throw shooting - combined with a couple of shots from the field - carried them through to a win. Taylor, T. Turner, and Shanks contributed from the free line, Taylor hit another 3-pointer, and Taylor, T. Turner and Lynn each hit a two, for a quarter total of 19 points and win of 50-46.
The following night, the Tigers faced Paris-Chisum again on their turf. The Tigers fell behind by four after the first quarter with a score of 11-7. twos by Hicks, Taylor and Lyday and a free throw by Matthew Wilson made up the scoring for Leonard. The Tigers rallied back to a tie at 20 by the end of the first half, however. Five points by Taylor - a three and two - two by Lynn, four by Shanks and a two by Lyday made up the 13 points needed to match their opponent. The Tigers came out with a vengeance after the half and scored 13 more to take the lead at 33-26 at the end of the third. Taylor and Redmon dropped in 3-pointers, T. Turner, Lyday and Wilson hit twos and Lynn hit a solo from the line. Paris-Chisum recovered in the fourth and matched the Tigers 38 points by the end of regulation play. A three by Taylor and a two by T. Turner were the Tigers only fourth-quarter contributions. In overtime, the Tigers had no choice but to foul their opponents, which resulted in three points from the line for Chisum. The Tigers fell behind 41-38 for a final score.
After a three-day rest, the Tigers played at home again against the Caddo Mills Foxes on Feb. 11, and pulled off a morale-boosting win. The Tigers got off to a slow start and actually fell behind by nine in the first quarter. The Foxes put up 19 to Leonard's ten - which were a three by Hicks, double and two solos by Taylor and a three by Shanks. The Tigers doubled their scoring in the second to 20 points and rallied back to being within five at the end of the half. T. Turner and Shanks put up threes and Hicks, Taylor, T. Turner and Wilson contributed double shots. Shanks continued his three-point assault in the third, hitting one more, as well as Hicks. Taylor, T. Turner, Shanks and Wilson put up twos and Wilson hit a solo shot to round out the third quarter scoring of 17 points, and the Tigers clenched the lead for the first time in the game at 47-45. The Tigers shot a respectable 14 in the fourth and held their opponent to only nine, which clenched the win. Twos by Hicks, Taylor, T. Turner and Wilson and free throws by Hicks and Wilson rounded out the rest of the Tiger scoring for a 61-54 win.
On Monday, the Tigers faced Prairiland in an away game and proved to be an edge-of-your-seat competition between the teams. The Tigers took a decent seven-point lead in the first with 17 points. Taylor once again helped get things kicked off for his team, having nine of the 17 points during the first. Other Tigers contributing were Hicks, T. Turner, Isaiah Turner and Wilson. The Tigers maintained a steady scoring pace in the second, with Max Scoggins having a hot hand for the Tigers at nine points. Shanks added a three and twos by T. Turner and Taylor completed the Tiger points. Going into halftime, the Tigers led 33-30. Following the half, Prairiland found themselves with a 21-point third quarter and took the lead from the Tigers. The Tigers put in 17 points with threes by Taylor, T. Turner and Scoggins and twos by Hicks, T. Turner and Wilson. Leonard fought back in the fourth to match Prairiland's score of 69 at the end of the fourth, and earned an overtime quarter. Hicks and T. Turner hit threes in overtime and a two by Hicks and a free throw by Scoggins made up Leonard's total of nine points. The home team, however, had hit 11 and edged out the Tigers by two points with a final score of 80-78.
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