The Valdosta Daily Times
The chances of one basketball team outscoring another team 28-0 in one quarter are pretty astronomical.
But it happened Tuesday night.
Lowndes’ boys basketball team outscored Thomas County Central 28-0 in the second quarter on Tuesday. That massive run turned a close game into a blowout, and helped the Vikings earn a 73-41 victory.
The Vikings (3-2) made nine field goals (including two three-pointers) and eight free throws, and did not allow the Yellow Jackets to score a single point in the second quarter.
Lowndes head coach Kingston Clark was stunned when he realized what his team had done in the second period.
“I knew we played good (in the second quarter). But I didn’t know we played that good,” Clark said. “We just got hot. If I didn’t have the book in front of me, I wouldn’t have believed it. (On defense) every shot was contested. That made a difference. We didn’t allow them to get an open look. We just stepped up big.”
As they headed into the second quarter, the Vikings held an 18-10 lead. They had played a solid first quarter, but there was no way to know what was about to happen in the second quarter.
Nineteen seconds into the second quarter, Lowndes’ Eric Henderson drained a jumper. Then he stole the ball and raced in for a layup. On the Vikings’ next possession, Henderson got the ball in the corner and buried a three-pointer as he was being fouled. Then he went to the free throw line and made his free throw to complete the four-point play. Henderson’s one-man 8-0 run extended the Vikings’ lead to 26-10.
Then it was Larry Brown’s turn to start scoring. Brown made a free throw and hit a jumper on consecutive possessions. Then he caught a long outlet pass and dunked the ball, making it 31-10.
Alan Urrutia made two free throws. Kenny Moore stole the ball and scored on a finger roll, then he stole the ball again and passed it to Urrutia for a layup. Brown made a free throw and Urrutia made two, then Remus Sims scored inside.
With five seconds left in the half, Justin Williams got the ball behind the arc, and drained a three-pointer. Those were the last of the Vikings’ 28 consecutive second quarter points, and they gave Lowndes a 46-10 halftime lead.
“(Our defense) has probably been the biggest difference (the last two games),” Clark said. “Against Howell, we held them to 15 points in the first half. To have (our team) hold somebody to 10 points in the first half is big, and to not let them score at all in one quarter is even (more impressive).”
Lowndes’ dominant run actually began with a 10-2 run at the end of the first quarter. In a span of 10 minutes, the Vikings went on a 38-2 run, and turned an 8-8 tie into a 46-10 halftime lead.
Ironically, Thomas County Central returned to the court in the second half and outscored Lowndes in each of the final two periods (13-11 in the third quarter and 18-16 in the fourth). But at the end of three periods, the Vikings held a 34-point lead, 57-23, so the fourth quarter was shortened to six minutes, due to the mercy rule.
Twelve different Vikings scored in Tuesday’s game. Tippins led all scorers with 15 points. Urrutia and Brown added 10 points apiece.
Lowndes girls 41, Thomas County Central 37
Lowndes’ girls trailed for much of the first three and a half quarters. But at the end of the game, when the Vikettes needed to step up, they did.
Lowndes went on a 10-2 run late in the game, and held on to beat Thomas County Central 41-37.
The win improved the Vikettes’ record to 4-1.
With four minutes left in the game, the Vikettes trailed 29-28. Lowndes’ Delaney Edwards got fouled and tied the game with a free throw. Then Mercedes Gillon-Grant found herself wide open behind the arc and drained a three-pointer, giving Lowndes its first lead of the second half, 32-29. A Vikette player rebounded a missed shot by TCC, but passed the ball right to TCC’s Ashley Franklin for an easy basket.
Then the Lady Jackets committed fouls on three straight Lowndes possessions, and sent the Vikettes to the free throw line. Haddin made two free throws, Gillon-Grant made two, then Haddin made two more. That extended Lowndes’ lead to 38-31 with 1:47 left in the game.
Thomas County Central cut the Vikettes’ lead to three with 26.1 seconds remaining, but Haddin sealed the victory with a free throw with 11.1 seconds left to play.
The score was close throughout the game. Lowndes led 8-7 after one period and Central had a 15-13 lead at halftime. The Lady Jackets led 21-19 heading into the final period.
Haddin and Lexus Miller led Lowndes with 10 points apiece.
Lowndes’ basketball teams will travel to Echols County on Friday night, with the girls’ game starting at 6 p.m.