The crowd was pretty sure after the November meeting with these two teams that they would get their money’s worth Friday night and they were not disappointed. Graceville found retribution in taking the 60-57 win over the Pirates after falling ever so closely 52-51 to Sneads on the last day of November on Pirate territory. The home court was truly an ally for the Tigers.
Ryder McDaniel gave Sneads the first points of the game on a bucket with 20 seconds off the clock with the Pirates adding another basket from McDaniel. Jay Nathan Hayes made it 6-0 Sneads way before Xavian Sorey answered for Graceville to make it 6-2. Sam Wesley narrowed the gap with a shot from downtown and Graceville was within one point. Quan Daniels countered with a three and it was a 9-5 game with five minutes to go. Darieon Perry narrowed it back down to 9-7 with 4:52 left in the first quarter. Hayes came through with a pair of baskets to move the deficit to 13-7 and with Joell Green countering with one from the line to make it an 13-8 game. Graceville reeled off eight points from Perry and Wesley to take a 16-13 lead over Sneads with 1:16 left in the first quarter before Sneads’ Hayes answered with a two to draw it to a 15-16 game at the end of the quarter.
McDaniel put Sneads back in the lead for a few seconds before Austin Angerbrandt reversed that lead to Graceville. Both teams continued to trade baskets much like the first quarter before Graceville took a five-point lead into the half time break 31-26.
The two teams took the court following the break and Sneads’ Quan Daniels hit the first basket of the quarter to make it a 31-29 ball game with just 20 seconds gone in the third. Jalen Johnson tied it up at 31 with 7:21 to go in the second quarter. Andre Brown quickly answered with a three-pointer and Graceville the lead again. Xavian Sorey added a bucket to increase the lead to five for the Tigers before D3 Darbyshire answered with a bucket. Hayes continued his timely shooting with a basket and the game was tied at 36 with 4:48 in the third quarter. Sneads pulled ahead on a downtowner by Chase Harrell with Cyprian James answering with a two. Graceville took a 40-39 lead and Sneads answered to retake the lead. At the end of three quarters of play, Graceville once again had a five-point lead, 47-42.
That lead increased with a shot by Green and Sorey to make it a 52-42 game. Sneads battled back with 11 unanswered points to take a 53-52 lead. The lead teeter-tottered with Graceville taking a 60-57 lead with 14.4 seconds left. A last second shot by Sneads fell short of tying the game, with the Graceville crowd letting everyone know who had won the game.
Sneads was led in scoring by Quan Daniels with 16 points, followed by Jay Nathan Hayes with 12 points. On board with nine points was Jalen Johnson.
Graceville was led by Xavian Sorey with 18 points, followed by Joell Green with 11 points. On board in double digits with 10 points was Sam Wesley. Cyprian Jones posted eight points, followed by Andre Brown with seven points.