Anson High hosted its final home game and senior night on Feb. 8, facing the Porter Ridge Pirates in four games. The first three games, both girl’s teams and the boy’s JV team, brought bitter defeats, but the boy’s varsity team pulled through for a narrow 72-70 victory.
The girls JV team fell behind in their game fairly early on but never gave up, playing hard until the end. At the end of the third quarter they slipped behind to a discouraging 12-20 but kept on, gaining six more points in the fourth quarter. The Pirates pushed on, as well, quickly going from 20 to 33 pints by the end of the quarter, leaving the Bearcats with a disappointing 18-33 loss.
The boys JV team was neck-to-neck with the Pirates for most of the first quarter, narrowly falling behind at the end 12-14. The Bearcats scored the first points of the second quarter, bringing the score to an even 14-14. Though they soon fell behind, the Bearcats redoubled their efforts, quickly passing the Pirates 28-22. They stayed ahead for most of the third quarter, leaving the crowd hopeful, but the Pirates pulled ahead and took the game, leaving the Bearcats a 51-58 loss.
The girl’s varsity team also started out neck-and-neck with the Pirates but slipped behind in the first quarter. The trend worsened in the second quarter, which ended 9-22 in the Pirates’ favor.
The AHS varsity and JV cheerleaders, combined with the Anson Middle School chearleaders, took the floor for halftime. Despite technical difficulties resulting in a screech in lieu of their expected music, the girls gamely went on with their routine and continued to perform for the crowd.
The Bearcats came back for a third quarter but only gained four points in the quarter compared to the Pirates’ 11, bringing the score to 13-35, Pirates. After a brief delay when the ball was stuck on top of the backboard, the girls opened the fourth quarter but quickly fell behind further, leaving AHS with their third disappointing defeat of the evening when the Pirates took the game, 24-47.
Between varsity games, senior chearleaders and basketball players were recognized and presented to the crowd.
The boy’s varsity team opened the final game of the evening, blasting through the first quarter. They had 13 points when the Pirates, with 4:33 on the clock, scored their first two. Both sides continued to gain but the Bearcats maintained their lead, ending the first quarter 24-15. The trend continuted in the second quarter, which ended in a close 38-35.
Wadesboro Elementary School cheerleaders performed for the halftime show. The AHS and some AMS cheerleaders also performed with a repeat of their earlier performance.
Crowd spirits were high as the third quarter opened. The Bearcats barely stayed ahead and finally slipped behind 51-57, Pirates. Although they continued to trail the Pirates through the first part of the fourth quarter they pulled ahead and stayed neck-and-neck for most of the remainder of the quarter. With seconds left on the clock, the score was 70-70; the Bearcats scored again, bringing the score to 72-70. With three seconds left on the clock and crowd spirits soaring, the Bearcats weren’t about to give up their lead. With a 72-70 win, the Bearcats blew the Pirates right out of the water.
Coach Beaty’s comments
“Last night was senior night (our last home game), so it was an emotional win for three of our players, Bunyon Tyson (G), Stephen Minter (F), and Darren Murray (G),” Steve Beaty, JV coach and varisty assistant, said via email. “We were able to hold on for a dramatic 72-70 victory, thanks to a big steal in the final moments by Will Smith (Jr. G). The game was back and forth, with a number of lead changes and runs.
“As far as a game MVP went, Will Smith played excellent defense all night,” Beaty continued. “[He] also contributed over 15 points (he had 5 threes, and I believe a few more points, and Bunyon Tyson (Sr. G), collected a triple double in his last home game. He scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and had 11 assists.
“Other important contributors: Darren Murray (Sr. G) came up big with 4 huge threes at critical points in the game,” Beaty said. “Stephen Minter (Sr. F) scored in double digits, and also was around double-digits in rebounds. Likewise, sophomore F Devonta Teal battled all night, leading the Bearcats in rebounds and providing a scoring presence in the paint all night. He and Will Smith’s hustle on both ends helped keep the team up all night.
“Finally, Ray Davis, Terrill Tillman, and J’Maine Harris gave great minutes off the bench, playing solid defense, scoring at important times, and feeding their teammates for open looks,” Beaty said.
The Bearcats will play all four games at Parkwood on Friday.