christian.malone@gaflnews.com



VALDOSTA -- Crisp Academy scored the final 10 points of the basketball game, and came from behind to beat Valwood's boys 35-30 Tuesday night at the new Valwood gym.

Valwood (5-8) had staged a second-half rally, which put them on top by five points, 30-25, with 3:39 to play. But then, the baskets stopped coming, and the Valiants started hurting themselves with mistakes.

"In a five-point game, we had 22 turnovers, and missed the front ends of two one-and-ones, while they made five free throws at the end," Valwood head coach Peter Allen said. "That was probably the difference.

"That's disappointing. This is the third time we've lost a game like this. We have to take better care of the basketball."

A free throw by Crisp's Heath Hamilton with 1:13 to play tied the score at 30-30. Valwood missed a shot, then Crisp came down the floor, and Michael Wells was fouled. Wells hit both free throws to give the lead back to Crisp.

Valwood then threw the ball out of bounds, giving the ball back to Crisp. Crisp's Jeremy Brown had a chance to put the game away, but hit just one of two foul shots, making it a three-point game.

Jerod Rigoni dribbled the ball downcourt, passed, then got it back, and tried a three-pointer. The ball hit the rim, came off, and the rebound was grabbed by Valiants center Chad Gallahan. As he came down, Gallahan was pushed from behind by a Crisp player, and went out of bounds. But no foul was called, and possession was given to Crisp.

Wells then was fouled, and hit two free throws to seal the game.

Crisp led most of the game, taking a 16-10 lead into halftime. The Wildcats were leading 23-16 with five minutes left in the third quarter.

Then Valwood got hot. Rigoni hit a pair of jumpers. Then Shane McDowell hit a layup, and Crisp's lead was cut to one, 23-22, heading into the fourth quarter.

Crisp got the first basket of the fourth period, then Rigoni responded with pass underneath to Trey Woods for a layup. Then McDowell stole the ball, and dashed downcourt for a layup, giving Valwood its first lead of the game, 26-25. Just over a minute later, Rigoni hit jumpers on back-to-back possessions, and the lead was 30-25 with 3:39 left.

"We were down six at halftime, then we picked up a few points in the third quarter, and (took the lead) in the fourth," Allen said. "I thought we played good defense all game. And we hit some shots then. Jerod knocked down a few."

But that was the final points for the Valiants.

"We were just too sloppy and careless when it counted, and made too many turnovers," Allen said.

Rigoni led Valwood with 12 points.

In the girls game, Crisp's girls team was simply too much for Valwood Tuesday, taking a 20-point halftime lead en route to a 56-14 victory.

Billie Anderson led the Lady Valiants with six points.

Valwood hosts Westbrook Friday night.



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