HED:Ashland needs OT for win over New Site
By Wayne Clements
TISHOMINGO There’s nothing the Ashland Blue Devils hate more than a controlled, half-court game. That’s exactly what they had to survive Wednesday night to beat New Site in the Division 1-2A Tournament at Tishomingo.
Ashland, which thrives in the run-n-gun, thrill-a-minute pace of fast-break basketball, needed overtime to shake New Site 72-63 and advance to tonight’s semifinal matchup with Baldwyn.
In Tuesday’s other games, New Site’s Lady Royals beat Booneville 65-53, while Baldwyn’s girls eliminated Ashland 58-48.
Ashland and New Site entered Wednesday’s games with identical 12-16 records, but that’s the only similarity between the two teams. New Site plays a strict half-court game, while the Blue Devils love to hit the floor running. For most of four quarters, the game was played at New Site’s pace.
The Royals, though, needed a desperation 3-pointer from Garland Green with 7 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. When Ashland controlled the tip, the Blue Devils were off and running, outscoring New Site 14-5 in the 4-minute extra period.
“It was just a great effort on out part,” New Site coach Randle Downs said. “They had beaten us by about 30 earlier in the year. We did everything we wanted to do except win.”
Green, the star of the first half for the Royals, couldn’t get started in the second half, hitting just 3-of-16 shots in the final 20 minutes. He hit 6-of-8 in the first half for 16 points, finishing with 26.
“We didn’t do anything special to stop him,” Ashland coach Gerald Clark said. “We had to go to a man defense to generate some offense. We started out in a zone and we were kind of standing around.”
Ashland star Leon Crawford matched his average with 26 points, but it was a quiet night for the 6-foot-4 1/2 guard until the end of regulation. Crawford took a tipped ball from Willie Brown and scored with 24 seconds left for a 58-55 lead. His two free throws with 53 seconds remaining tied the game 55-55.
Crawford and New Site’s Aaron Griggs matched 3-pointers to start the overtime before Ashland scored the next nine points to take a 70-61 lead.
New Site’s deliberate offense threw the Blue Devils off their stride in the first half. The Royals led by seven two times in the second quarter before an 11-2 Ashland run sparked by five points from Crawford gave the Blue Devils a 25-23 lead.
The lead see-sawed in the fourth period until Green’s 3-pointer tied it for the fifth time. Then it was off to the races, a race the Blue Devils won pulling away.
“This was the first overtime we’ve had,” Clark said. “I’m proud they reacted to it in fine fashion. Maybe we’ve got the jitters out and we can play (today).”
Alan Grady added 22 points for New Site (12-17). Dupree Crawford scored 15 for Ashland, Eric Royston had 14 and Marcus Allen scored 12.
(G) New Site 65, Booneville 53
Booneville 13 11 15 14 — 53
New Site 17 18 19 11 — 65
Booneville: Jessica Spain 20, Candace Eaton 10, Brooke Downs 10.
New Site: Christy Sims 23, Nore Crowe 11.
Records: Booneville 10-20; New Site 22-9.
(B) Ashland 72, New Site 63 (OT)
New Site 13 16 9 20 5 — 63
Ashland 12 15 14 17 14 — 72
New Site: Garland Green 26, Alan Grady 22.
Ashland: Leon Crawford 26, Dupree Crawford 16, Eric Royston 14, Marcus Allen 12.
Records: New Site 13-16; Ashland 12-17.
(G) Baldwyn 58, Ashland 48
Ashland 8 12 7 21 — 48
Baldwyn 9 16 16 17 — 58
Ashland: Maresa Hampton 17, Lakesha Perry 14m Laueshia Terry 10.
Baldwyn: Angie Antillon 19, Shanna Woodruff 10.
Records: Baldwyn 27-4; Ashland 14-15.
5:30 p.m., (B) Baldwyn (25-5) vs. Ashland (13-16); 7 p.m., (G) Belmont (28-5) vs. New Site (22-9); 8:30 p.m., (B) Belmont (22-9) vs. East Union (16-15).