by JP Miklovic
I don’t know what they call Liberty Benton’s gym, but I know the Tigers would have liked to have had the McComb Panthers district tournament game in “The Jungle” (in NB), as opposed to an indoor football arena, for young men playing a rough game, without the benefits of pads. McComb used their football toughness and prowess, to wrestle their way to a trip to the District Finals, beating North Baltimore, 53 – 51.
Credit the officials for making the calls in the early stages of the game, that sort of “controlled” the very physical style employed by McComb, in their attempt to defend against the Tigers 6′ 7″ Chad Wright.
Credit McComb for their game plan to have a man in Wright’s face, with a body on him every possession, contesting every pass, bumping him every shot, checking him on every rebound. The McComb defenders really worked Wright over, sending him to the floor many times.
And finally, credit the Tigers for hanging in there in the second half, when there was an obvious shift in the game, when McComb turned up the defensive pressure even more, leading to steals for several lay ups. In addition, a couple of quick whistles (foul calls) on Wright and he had three fouls forcing him to back off in the paint, where McComb would attack for the remainder of the game.
NB had built a 10 point halftime lead 28 – 18, but that was gone by the end of the 3rd quarter, as McComb hit 25 points for that 8 minutes stretch. The Tigers could connect for only 14 points and McComb was threatening to run away with the game early in the 4th. But, the Tigers sucked it up and battled back to tie the game at 51 with a minute and a half left. But costly turnovers by NB down the stretch and a couple of missed foul shots, gave McComb just enough to get the 2 point win.
Wright finished with 17 points, Watson had 14 points, Julian Hagemyer hit 8 points, Noah Brian 6 points, Chase Naugle 4 points, Taylor Bishop 2 points.
Fotos by Ferg: (You can click on photos to ENLARGE)
North Baltimore finishes the year 14 – 10. Congrats on a very nice season for the Tiger Boys. They played hard, looked like they were having fun most of the time, and represented their school and community very well all season long! Thank you players coaches and staff for a very enjoyable season – GO TIGERS!!!