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Fatigue finally catches up with Pioneers in Arby's Classic loss

By COLLIN BROOKS

BRISTOL, Tenn. —After 12 quarters of basketball in two games, it appeared that fatigue finally set in and contributed to a 72-55 loss for David Crockett on Wednesday night against Tift County (GA).

After David Crockett (12-3) took a 31-29 lead into the locker room, they were outscored 43-24 by Tift (12-0) the rest of the contest. The loss places them the consolation bracket on Thursday night to face St. James (MD), who lost to Wayne 62-50 at 5 p.m.

Crockett’s Patrick Good led all scorers with 29 points, going 9-22 from the field, including 5-16 from 3-point range. No other Crockett player finished in double digits.

“We came out there and we competed and then when you aren’t hitting shots, it starts to wear on you and our kids just sort of fizzled out there, I mean they gave us everything that they had out there and that’s all you can ask for,” David Crockett coach John Good said. “They’re a good team, we are a good team, we just didn’t have enough tonight.”

Tift County was led by Georgia Tech commit Tyrie Jackson with 22 points, but it was the play of Fred Lloyd, who was filling in for Tift County’s Preston Horne that propelled the Blue Devils to a win. Lloyd finished with 19 point and 12 rebounds, taking the place of Horne who suffered a knee injury on Tuesday against North Mecklenburg and is scheduled for an MRI on Monday.

Things looked like they were going to go the Pioneers way, when they entered the locker room with the lead.

“It felt good,” said John Good about the mood in the locker room at halftime. “We really don’t concentrate on the score, just on how we are playing and we knew that we needed to keep them off the backboard and we didn’t in the second half, and number one (Tyrie Jackson) hit big shot after big shot and we couldn’t get a look on our end.”

The fatigue for the Pioneers seemed to be apparent early in the contest, when their shots continued to draw front iron, but Patrick Good said he didn’t really feel his legs go until the second half, and there wasn’t anything they could do.

“There isn’t really much you can do about it,” he said. “When your down and you have to defend and you're getting quick shots and you are having to defend even more, so it was hard on us.”

Despite missing early shots the Pioneers jumped out to a 10-2 lead over the Blue Devils, but Tift was able pull closer at the end of the period, going down just 18-15 after one.

According to Tift coach Dr. Eric Holland, the Blue Devils thought they had the momentum going into the final half, despite Patrick Good connecting on one-of-two free throws after a technical foul was called on a Tift player as the buzzer sounded.

“We felt like the third and fourth quarter, in our opinion, are the most important quarters, particularly with the way that you shoot the ball and that is when fatigue sets in a little bit,” Dr. Holland said. “I think they only had one field goal in the third quarter if I remember correctly,”

David Crockett’s Peyton Ford finished with nine points for the Pioneers, while Brendan Coleman and Josh Releford each had six.

Tift’s Iman Holley, who won the dunk contest just before the tip of the semifinal, scored nine points for the Blue Devils.

Tift County will play Wayne County (OH) at 6:30 p.m. to decide who will take home the 33rd Arby’s Classic crown. Wayne will try to be the first team from Ohio to win the Arby’s, while Tift will try to take another crown for the state of Georgia, as Greater Atlanta Christian won the title in 2013.