Briggs' Buzzer-Beater Gives Tigers Win Over Wildcats - Rosman, NC

 

January 25, 2018

Jeremiah Reed

Rosman junior Gracy Briggs goes up for two of her game-high 30 points Tuesday night against Andrews. Briggs scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning 3-pointer as time expired, to give the Lady Tigers a 61-58 win over the Wildcats.

With the game on the line and less than five seconds to play, Rosman junior Gracy Briggs raced down the court, stopped at the top of the key and launched a long three-pointer.

You didn't need to see the ball go through the net to know what happened; the explosion of the home crowd told the story.

After a fourth quarter where the Lady Tigers had their main ball handler foul out and watched an 11-point lead evaporate, Briggs put the team on her back down the stretch – scoring 14 of Rosman's final 17 points in just over four minutes to lead the Lady Tigers to a 61-58 win over Andrews.

Her last second heroics put the icing on a 30-point effort and moved Rosman to 3-2 in the Smoky Mountain Conference.

After the game, Briggs didn't get caught up praising herself, but rather said she was just doing what she could to get her team a win.

"When I have the ball, I just try to take control and do what I can to help my teammates," Briggs said. "That's really all I try to do."

She added that the victory exemplified the team's resilience and ability to handle big moments.

"Tonight shows the heart of this team. We work as a team and when it gets rough we have to work together, and that's what we did tonight," she said.

Things definitely got rough for the Lady Tigers in the final minutes of Tuesday night's game.

After a close first quarter that ended with Rosman leading 12-8, the Lady Tigers went on an 11-1 run to open up the second period and secure a 14-point lead.

They held that double-digit advantage for most of the next two quarters, leading 39-28 going into the fourth quarter.

But over the final seven minutes, the Wildcats shifted to full-court pressure and, bit by bit, they inched back into the game.

Andrews scored four straight points reduce the lead to 41-34 with 6:15 to play.

They cut the lead to six just 35 seconds later before scoring off an inbound pass to cut the lead to 43-39.

The Lady Tigers turned the ball over on the ensuing inbound pass, and fouled an Andrews player on a layup attempt.

The Wildcats knocked down both shots, cutting the lead to 43-41.

Rosman was still shaky getting past the press, but managed to do so.

Christa Galloway was fouled on a layup attempt and knocked down 1-of-2 free throws to make it 44-41 with just under 5:00 left.

Things took a turn for the worse on the ensuing possession as point guard Ashlyn Dodson fouled out with 4:40 to play.

Andrews also tacked on a pair of free throws to make it 44-43.

Rosman turned the ball over again on its next possession, but the Wildcats couldn't take advantage.

Briggs knocked down a pair of free throws after being fouled on a shot attempt to make it 46-43.

Andrews hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe on their next possession before Briggs added two more free throws and followed that up with a 3-pointer to open up a seven-point lead, 51-44, with 3:45 to play.

With 2:00 to play, Rosman led 53-47.

More free throws from Andrews made it 53-49.

Briggs answered with a layup, but the Wildcats kept cashing in from the line, adding two more free throws.

The teams traded buckets on their next possessions, leaving the score 57-53 with 1:00 to play.

The Wildcats proceeded to cut the lead to 57-55 before Alicia Guinn hit 1-of-2 from the line to make it 58-55, with 35 seconds left.

On Andrews' final possession, the Wildcats took it down to under 10 seconds before swinging the ball to the top of the key and burying a trey to tie the game with six seconds left.

With the clock still running, Briggs took the inbound pass and sprinted down the floor.

She stopped well beyond the 3-point line and let fire with a contested shot.

There was no question of the result as the ball left her hands.

It was a wild finish to a game that provided some anxious moments for Tiger fans.

Head coach Josh Galloway said his team got a bit passive in dealing with Andrews' full-court pressure, which allowed the Wildcats to climb back into the game.

"I think we got complacent. The pressure wasn't really there, we were just throwing the ball around instead of looking to attack the press," he said.

The victory, the Lady Tigers' second in their last three games, improves Rosman's record to 5-8.

Galloway said he's seen improvements in his team and believes they can do even better if they start playing every game to the final whistle.

"Tonight, I thought we've played better than we have been, especially through the first half. The girls really just have learn to push themselves for four quarters, challenge themselves and really expect to win. When they do that, they'll be a much better team," he said.


 
 

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