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January 19, 2013

Wildcats beat Brunswick on Friday, 75-70

VALDOSTA — Valdosta’s boys basketball team won a tough battle with Brunswick on Friday night, defeating the Pirates 75-70 at the VHS gymnasium.

The win improved the Wildcats’ record to 6-0 in Region 1-6A, and 13-4 overall.

“It was another region win. We came out and did what we had to do and got the win,” Valdosta head coach Antonio Haynes said. “We were able to get through (some of our) mistakes and make some big plays down the stretch to win a basketball game.”

Rashad Lewis and Clarence Smith carried a large portion of the offensive load for the Wildcats. Lewis scored a game-high 30 points, while Smith had 24. A bunch of those points were scored in the final minutes of the game.

Valdosta trailed for most of the first half and the first four minutes of the second half.

But halfway through the third period, the Wildcats went on a 10-1 run, and turned a 44-39 deficit into a 49-45 lead. Anthony Smith made a free throw, then after a turnover, Clarence Smith made a layup. Then Lewis got the ball behind the arc and drained a three-pointer. Brunswick’s Mike Davis made a free throw, but then a basket by Anthony Smith and two free throws by Lewis extended the Wildcats’ lead to 49-45.

Valdosta led 52-49 heading into the final quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter, Brunswick went on a 9-0 run and regained the lead, 60-56. But Lewis halted the run with a three-pointer, then on the Wildcats’ next possession, Anthony Smith grabbed an offensive rebound and scored, putting Valdosta back on top, 61-60. A basket by Lewis and two free throws by Brunswick’s Ty Jackson made it 63-62 with 2:28 left in the game.

Then Valdosta started hitting from behind the three-point line. Lewis buried a three-pointer. After a Brunswick basket, an open Clarence Smith got the ball in the corner and drained a three-pointer. The Pirates got another basket, but then they let Smith get open again in the corner, and once again, the senior guard buried a three-pointer. That extended the Wildcats’ lead to six, 72-66, with 1:08 left in the game.

Then Valdosta made three of four free throws in the final minute to put the game away.

The game was tied 10-10 at the end of one quarter, and Brunswick held a 29-27 lead at halftime. But the Wildcats outscored the Pirates 36-26 in the final 12 minutes of the game, and rallied for the win.

Valdosta made 12 three-pointers in the win. Lewis had six and Clarence Smith had four. Smith scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half.

Jackson led Brunswick with 27 points.

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