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Riverwood nips Dunwoody in thriller at the Wildcats Den

Posted: 1/13/2013 9:06 AM

Riverwood nips Dunwoody in thriller at the Wildcats Den 

Paris Ballinger's 3-point attempt for the game winner with two seconds left went halfway down the cylinder before bouncing out leaving the Dunwoody Wildcats with a crushing 56-54 defeat at the hands of the Riverwood Raiders at the Wildcats Den last night. Ballinger fell face down to the floor and remained there for about 30 seconds as his teammates stared in disbelief as they realized that a game that they had led for 29 out of the game's 32 minutes had been snatched from their grasp. The loss drops Dunwoody's record to 6-10 for the year. Chris Lawrence led the 'Cats with 13 points with teammate Kelvin Brown joining him in double figures with 11. Mike Tait was high man for Riverwood with 21 points.

Like Friday night, the 'Cats came out of the gate fast jumping to an 8-1 lead after the first four minutes. Chris Lawrence was unstoppable during that opening run scoring 6 points on an array of inside moves. Dunwoody led 15-8 after one.

The 'Cats continued their offensive onslaught in the 2nd quarter and after a great pass from DeChard Hamilton to Connor McKnight for a dunk at the 3:34 mark, Dunwoody led 27-18 and looked like they were going to run Riverwood right out of the building.

But as these 'Cats have a tendency to do, they could not stand the prosperity as Riverwood outscored them 12-4 down the stretch to trail only 31-30 at the half.

After what I would imagine was a blistering halftime speech by Coach Griffin, the 'Cats came out aggressively for the 2nd half opening with a 7-0 run, including a LONG trey from Ballinger, upping their lead to 38-30. But like before, they could not hold it as the Raiders slowly chipped away and despite being up by six with a 1:40 to go, the 'Cats found themselves only leading 43-42 after three.

Riverwood finally took their first lead of the game at 46-44 with 6:37 left and they stretched that lead to 50-44 before back to back baskets by Richard Carrington and a three point play the old fashioned way by Kelvin Brown gave the 'Cats a 51-50 lead with 3:33 to go. After a clutch basket by Jonathan Goodson gave the Raiders back the lead, Brown found himself alone on the elbow and drained the trey giving Dunwoody a 54-52 lead with 2:15 to go. Riverwood tied the game on their next possession giving Dunwoody a chance for the win with 1:39 to go. The 'Cats worked the ball around and Shun Jones was fouled with less than a minute to go giving the junior guard an opportunity to give the 'Cats back the lead in the one and one. But he rimmed out the first free throw with the Raiders grabbing the rebound. Riverwood worked the ball around and Goodson was fouled on a drive to the basket and calmly sunk the two free throws giving the Raiders a 56-54 lead with 10.9 left. Dunwoody called their last timeout.

The 'Cats eventually worked the ball to Ballinger who shook off several defenders, before setting himself and launching his shot about four feet behind the line on the left elbow. The shot looked perfect as both teams and everyone else in the gym followed the ball's trajectory, watching it go halfway down before rattling against both sides of the cylinder, bouncing out and rolling harmlessly across the court as the final horn sounded. What a finish!

Dunwoody will try to get over their disappointment over the next two days before welcoming in the four time defending state champions and current #1 ranked Miller Grove Wolverines Tuesday night at the Wildcats Den. There truly is no rest for the weary. Game time is 7 pm.

Last edited 1/15/2013 6:46 PM by nysouth

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