To the wire

Published 5:58 pm Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Following a tight win against Red Level last Friday night, Greenville wasn’t able to pull out a close game against Lanier on Saturday, falling 66-56.

“We trailed by six points with two minutes to go, but we just couldn’t get there,” said head coach Bryant Marlow.

Marlow said the difference in the game was fundamentals.

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Greenville had 14 turnovers while Lanier only had seven.

The Tigers also missed 11 free throws while the Poets hit all but five.

Mikwese Claybourne led the Tigers with 17 points, Jarques Burnett had 14, and Nick McHenry added 10.

That loss came the day after Greenville pulled out a tough win on the road in Red Level.

Greenville opened up to an 8-4 lead, but Red Level responded with an 8-0 run.

Greenville started getting the ball to Claybourne inside, and Brentley Hill hit a couple of three-pointers to give the Tigers a 22-17 lead at the end of the first half.

Greenville managed to stay ahead for most of the second quarter, but Red Level’s three-point shooting kept them in the game.

Red Level tied the game at 30 with 2:48 to go before halftime, but Greenville managed to take a 39-36 lead into the locker room.

In the third quarter, the Greenville defense tightened up with full-court pressure, and Hill heated up from three-point range.

The Tigers also started dominating in the paint, getting a number of points from offensive rebounds and putbacks.

After three quarters, Greenville led 61-52.

The fourth quarter was going smoothly until a routine shot and rebound about midway through the quarter.

On the play, Red Level’s Kyle Nolan came down awkwardly and suffered a serious knee injury.

The game was delayed for nearly 30 minutes due to the injury.

“Right before that happened, they started getting the momentum,” said Marlow. “I thought we responded well.”

The Tigers held on until the last minute of the game, when Red Level cut the lead to 76-71.

Greenville stretched it to 79-73 with 18.8 seconds left, but Red Level’s D.J. Sankey hit a three-pointer to make it a three-point game.

The Tigers missed two free throws, giving Red Level hope with less than six seconds to play.

Disaster almost struck when Greenville was hit with a technical intentional foul call with 1.2 seconds to go, but fortunately for the Tigers, Red Level missed both free throws.

A last-second three-pointer was off line, and the Tigers escaped with the 79-76 win.

“The main thing I’m proud of is that we got a solid road win,” Marlow said. “This a Red Level team with two outstanding shooters, so it’s good to come in here and get a win.”

Jarques Burnett and Brentley Hill each scored 20 points in the win, and Claybourne added 18.

Red Level’s Sankey put 38 on the board for the Tigers.