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Bobcats drop season opener

By Tyler Clifton
Nov. 13, 2012 at 10 p.m.

HALLSVILLE - Hallsville might have been playing the inaugural boys basketball game in its new Bobcat Coliseum on Tuesday night, but things continued from the final contest at their old venue in February.

The 2012-13 season opener was a different story from the double-overtime win against Nacogdoches in the winter, as visiting Tyler Lee got to the free throw line and took advantage at the charity stripe late, using Taylor Tankersley's 18 points and 10 more from Caleb Johnston to grab a 61-50 overtime victory.

Luke Derfus made three 3-pointers to finish with nine points, as did Jack Calhoun for the Red Raiders (1-0), who made all 10 of their free throws in the fourth quarter and were 12 of 12 in the final two periods to finish 16 of 19 for the game (84 percent).

Nolan Faires finished with a game-high 24 points for the Bobcats (0-1) before fouling out with 28.6 seconds remaining in overtime. Cody Blankenship had 14 points before fouling out with 3:01 in the extra period, while Ronnie Gideon made a pair of 3s to finish with eight points.

Tyler Lee held the Bobcats scoreless from the floor in overtime and gave up only two points on a pair of Faires free throws seconds before making his exit.

Tankersley and Johnston were true to form at the free throw line, and Jack Calhoun found a wide-open Derfus in the corner for a 3 which was the only field goal in overtime for either team. The Red Raiders used a 14-0 run to take control in a span of almost 4 ½ minutes.

Hallsville carried a 14-12 lead into the second quarter behind a pair of Faires 3-pointers, including the first basket ever made in the new coliseum. Blankenship had four points in the quarter for the lead, with freshman Jonathan Mitchell scoring his lone bucket and Michael Brooks adding a pair of steals.

Tankersley scored 35 seconds into the second quarter to tie the game, and it was close throughout.

Blankenship nailed one of his two triples off a pass from Faires, who added five points of his own, including a 3-point play.

Austin Fleet scored in the paint midway through the quarter, and Will Dougherty scored down low as well to tie the game 22-22, and Tankersley added a layup with 1:17 remaining before the half to finish with eight second-quarter points and put the Red Raiders up by two at the break.

As was the case throughout, Blankenship hit a baseline jumper on a Faires assist. The teams had quite an interesting run once Dougherty scored in the paint and Tankersley added one of two at the line.

Faires nailed a 3 from the top of the key only to be answered on the other end by Tucker Boyd. Gideon found his groove and hit back-to-back 3s of his own before Derfus responded to tie the game 33-33. Hallsville went back in front on Faires' 3-point play, as the teams combined to score three points on six straight scoring possessions. The Bobcats were the ones who responded at the charity stripe late in the third quarter, with Blankenship and Faires connecting on a pair of free throws each for a 40-35 lead.

Blankenship and Faires were in sync most of the night, as each hit crucial 3s to keep their five-point advantage intact at 46-41 midway through the fourth quarter.

Tankersley put back a pair of missed shots, and Colton Sherwood got in the scoring column on a no-look pass from Gideon for a three-point lead with less than two minutes remaining in the game.

Dougherty found Calhoun in the corner for a 3 with 55 seconds on the clock to send it to overtime.

Tyler Lee is scheduled to host Whitehouse for its home opener at 7 p.m. on Friday depending upon what the Wildcats have depth wise with their football team in the playoffs. The Red Raiders are also scheduled to host Lufkin on Saturday before a 10-day break for the Thanksgiving holidays.

Hallsville looks for the first win in its new home at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday following the Ladycats in a scheduled doubleheader. The Wildcats also host Lufkin on Monday before a week-long vacation preceding their first road game of the year on Nov. 27 at Longview.



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