Franklin County Tournament
Red Bay returns to finals; Tigers edge Tharptown 59-51
PHIL CAMPBELL – In a game that featured errant shooting from both teams, nine ties and 15 lead changes, in the end it all came down to free throws and fouls in the semifinals of the Franklin County tournament Friday night.
No. 3 seed Tharptown nearly upset defending county champion Red Bay and led 22-21 at halftime, but the Tigers held on to win 59-51.
Red Bay only hit 12-of-33 free throws, while Tharptown made 18-of-25 from the line.
But the Wildcats were also hit with three questionable technical fouls, including two at key points in the fourth quarter, while the Tigers were given a technical in the first quarter.
With 47 seconds remaining in the game, Tharptown's Manny Ricardo scored a driving layup to cut Red Bay's lead to 53-51. But the Wildcats were whistled for an intentional foul, and Red Bay's Cody Tucker hit both free throws and Justin Page hit 1-of-2 on the Tigers' ensuing possession to lead 56-51.
After Page split another pair of free throws to put Red Bay ahead 57-51 with 27.1 seconds left, Tharptown missed two free throws and a 3-pointer.
Derrick Miller, who hit the 3-pointer to put Red Bay ahead by seven with two minutes left, finished with a team-high 14 points. Page and Makepeace each scored 12 points, and Makepeace scored all of his in the second half.
Grant Fancher and Tucker each finished with seven points, and Curtis Morrell (6) and Cory Timbs (3) also scored for the Tigers.
Ricardo scored a game-high 16 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, for Tharptown. Joseph Parker tossed in 15 points, while Trevor Hallmark had 11. Justin Graves (4), Devin Lawson (3) and Matt Austin (2) also scored for the Wildcats.