The Cowboys hosted the Vikings of Northwest Guilford. This Conference match-up has turned into a heated rivalry for conference supremacy in the last several years. Since the Conference’s inception in the 2009-2010 season, either of these two teams have have either won outright or split the regular season title. This edition of the heavy weight bout also happened to be the TWC game of the week.
These two rivals split in the regular season and the Vikings beat the Cowboys in Overtime in the Conference Tournament Championship game last season. The Cowboys want to reverse that outcome as well as stay unbeaten in Conference play, while the Vikings came into tonight’s tilt after a rough road loss to conference foe High Point Central.
Who would handle the pressure of this big game? Could they manage being televised?
From the tip this was a tough fought war. The teams traded baskets and leads. The opening quarter was back and forth, including 8 lead changes and 2 ties, and ultimately settled with the visiting Vikings up 21-20.
The second quarter opened with a quick 2 points by the Cowboys to regain the lead at 22-21. From there the Vikings took advantage of some sloppy possessions by the Cowboys as Northwest used a 9-0 run to go up 30-22 at the 5:33 mark. It was a full minute later that the Cowboys tallied a basket making it 30-24, but 4 more straight points made it 30-28 at the 3:30 mark. The Vikings managed to keep the momentum and Southwest at bay. Northwest managed to build a solid lead as the Cowboys couldn’t put anything together. The Vikings ended the half on a 13-3 run to take a strong 45-33 lead.
The second half out did the first in intensity and drama. After a calm regrouping in the locker room, the Cowboys chipped away with a 4-0 spurt in the opening 40 seconds to make it 45-37. Southwest kept chopping away and by the 5:10 mark it was 47-42. Northwest did just enough to keep the Cowboys at arms length, but that arm was getting shorter by the minute. Another little spurt by the Cowboys got them to 49-46 at the 3:45. The Vikings responded with a strong possession extending the lead back to 52-46. After trading baskets to make it 54-48, Southwest’s Kobe Langley calmly hit all 3 free-throws to make it 54-51 with 2:56 to go in the frame. The teams traded poor possessions and then the Vikings managed to get a stop and a score to go up 58-51 with just 1:30 to play in the quarter. Southwest controlled this final 90 seconds, using strong defense to force turnovers and turned them into baskets. Using this 8-0 run, Southwest regained the lead at 59-58 with 28 seconds remaining on a ferocious dunk by Brandon Lamberth. The Cowboys got a solid defensive stop as the frame closed with the same score.
On the opening inbounds of the final stanza, Keyshaun Langley picked up his 4th foul, and the Viking player hit both free-throws to go up 60-59. Thirteen seconds later, a 3 pointer by Southwest reclaimed the lead at 62-60 for the hosts. The Vikings calmly came down and made a basket to tie this back and forth battle back up at 62 apiece. The Cowboys managed to hit one free throw to go up 63-62 on the next possession. From the teams once again went back and forth matching each other blow for blow. Northwest took the lead at 66-64 with 5:40 to play. The Cowboys ran the break well and Ty Radford’s 3 pointer on the wing gave the lead back to the hosts at 67-66 with 5:30 to play. Once again the Vikings responded quickly with another bucket. Another 3 pointer by Southwest, put the score at 70-68 with 4:52 to play. Yet again, the Vikings responded, this time with a 3 pointer of their own to make it 71-70. The Cowboys wouldn’t back down and hit another 3 pointer of their own to go up 73-71 with 4:25 to play. Northwest went on a 4-0 run to reclaim the lead again at 75-73 with 3:55 to go. Southwest used a 4-0 spurt of their own to take the 77-75 lead with just 3:10 to play in the game. The final minutes were back and forth as the Vikings would respond to tie it, then the Cowboys would score to take the lead. A huge 3 pointer by Southwest with just 57 seconds to go gave the Cowboys an 82-79 lead. Northwest pushed the ball up the court and was fouled on the way to the basket. After hitting both free-throws to take it to 82-81, Southwest was fouled in the back court and made both to make it 84-81 with 31 seconds to play. The Vikings executed quickly and got a basket to take it to 84-83. The Cowboys were once again fouled. This time however, the Cowboys missed both free throws with just 17 seconds to go. Northwest pushed the ball up the floor and was fouled. Northwest’s Jalen Spicer missed the front end, but calmly swished the back end to tie it all up at 84-84 with just 11.2 to play. The Cowboys executed a well designed transition break and drew a foul as the shot rimmed out with 6.7 to play. The Cowboys calmly swished both to make it 86-84. After a Northwest timeout, the Cowboys used great defense to force a turnover on the inbounds which gave the ball to the Cowboys. The Cowboys executed a flawless inbounds for an uncontested layup to make it 88-84 with 2.9 to play. Another timeout by the Vikings allowed the Cowboys to talk the last possession over and the Vikings got an offensive rebound and dunk just at the buzzer to make the final score 88-86.
The Cowboys held on for a tough home conference win and stay unbeaten in Piedmont Triad 4A play at 3-0. The Vikings were led by Thomas Hennigan with 24 points. Southwest was led by Brandon Lamberth with (27, 9 Rebs), Kobe Langley with (18, 6 Rebs, 4 Asts, 2 Stls), and Keyshaun Langley with (14, 3 Asts, 2 Rebs).
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final Northwest 21 24 13 28 86 Southwest 20 13 26 29 88
Northwest (13-4, 2-2)
Matt Rakes 8
Jalen Spicer 15
Thomas Hennigan 24
Thomas Smith 3
Christian Hampton 2
David Funderburg 6
Reggie Davis 15
Jacob Davis 12
Southwest (14-2, 3-0)
Keyshaun Langley 14
Dezmond Woods 6, Reb
Kobe Langley 18
Christian Martin 9, 2 Rebs, Stl
Ty Radford 8, Ast
Kameron Langley 6, 7 Asts, 4 Rebs
Brandon Lamberth 27
Courtesy of Southwest Guilford assistant coach Greg Vlazny