The Sneads gym was packed last Thursday night with Pirate and Tiger fans ready for some basketball. And the Sneads and Graceville players gave the fans their money’s worth through four quarters of basketball with the winner being declared at the final buzzer. In the end, it was the Sneads Pirates picking up their first win of the regular season 52-51 over the visiting Tigers. The Pirates are 3-1 overall including two preseason wins in the Altha Classic. Thursday night was the Graceville Tigers first game of the season and Coach Rob Hubbs was very upfront about the win, “There was no comfort until that final horn blew and I’m still not sure I’m comfortable.”
Sam Wesley nailed the first shot of the game from three-point range with just 10 seconds off the clock to put Graceville up 3-0. Courtavious Garrett answered 20 seconds later with a bucket, followed by a downtown shot by Quan Daniels to give Sneads a 5-3 lead with 5:45 left in the first quarter. DIII Darbyshire added a pair of buckets improving the lead to 7-3 before T D Olds silenced the home crowd and lit up the visitors with a shot from downtown. Sneads had an answer with a bucket and a shot of their own from way outside by Chase Harrell to make it a 14-7 game after one quarter of play.
In the second quarter, it was the Quan Daniels show with him nailing a trio of three-pointers and adding one the line to add to Sneads 14-point second quarter. Graceville’s Xavian Sorey added a downtown shot and two-for-two from the charity stripe to bolster their seven points. At the halfway mark, it was 28-14 in favor of the home team.
Coach Justin Miles in his second year as head coach has been in this situation before and rallied his team in the locker room. Coach Rob Hubbs was working hard to convince his team they had two more quarters before they could relax. Both teams listened and the crowd was the benefactor with 16 minutes of down-to-the wire basketball.
Sam Wesley had a pair of threes with Cyprian James adding seven points, and a long shot from Xavian Sorey in racking up 18 third-quarter points for Graceville. Sneads answered with 14 points narrowing the lead to 42-32 with one quarter to play. Courtavious Garrett had a three while Jay Nathan Hayes had a pair of buckets for Sneads.
The final quarter was nothing short of electrifying from both sides of the court. Freshman Xavian Sorey took on the look of a senior basketball player nailing four baskets, a three-point shot and two from the line to lead his team in the fourth period. Sam Wesley and Cyprian James each added a bucket with Joell Green making his presence known at the line. For Sneads, Chase Harrell had a three-pointer, with River Clark nailing a bucket, while Quan Daniels, Jalen Johnson and Hayes all made shots from the line. With 54 seconds left in the 52-48 game, it was Xavian Sorey’s downtown shot that brought the game to within one. A quick turnover and inbound by Graceville fell short of their final shot making it in the basket, sealing the win for the home team Pirates.
Both teams had short turnaround time with home games Friday night. Those games are covered in separate articles in this week’s edition of the TIMES!