The Cowboys turned right back around and got back on the bus to head over to Smith High School in Greensboro for a critical Piedmont Triad 3A battle. The Eagles are soaring high on a 7 game winning streak and are only a half game out of first place in the conference race. The Cowboys needed a victory tonight to keep any hope alive in leapfrogging the Eagles in the standings. When these two teams squared off last month it was a physical matchup that had the Eagles eek out a 93-92 win with a pair of free throws in the final seconds.
The games opening possessions set the theme for the rest of the night. A missed shot by the Cowboys followed by a foul called on them on the defensive side of the call on the other side. The Eagles managed one, and it was 1-0 at the 6:30 mark. The Cowboys then scored 10 straight points to lead 10-1 at the 3:10 point. The Cowboys didn’t allow a single made field goal, but the Eagles made four more free throws and the opening frame closed with the Cowboys up 15-5.
The second frame was the same theme as the Eagles were only scoring from the charity stripe, and the Cowboys offensive efficiency plummeted. The Eagles managed a made field goal at the 3:30 mark to make it 23-10, followed by a made three pointer and it was 23-13. The battle continued with the momentum favoring the hosts, and the Eagles scored one more field goal to make it 27-19 going into the half with the Eagles going 13-21 from the free throw line.
Smith opened the half with a bucket, and the momentum was theirs. The game became even more physical, and the Eagles kept shooting free throws. A steal and an old fashion three point play at the buzzer game the Cowboys the lead again at 44-43 going into the final stanza.
The Eagles maintained control and pushed their advantage out to 53-46 at the 3:35 mark. A couple of free throws and a bucket cut it to 53-50 at the 2:56 point. But an Eagle basket got it back out to 55-50 which set up a crazy final 2:00 to play. Another 4-0 spurt by the Cowboys cut it to 55-54 with 1:08 to go. The Eagles got another basket to push it out to 57-54 with 38 seconds to go. A crucial turnover at the worst time by Southwest have possession back to the Eagles with 28 seconds. On the ensuing inbound, the Eagles were caught with 6 players on the court and a technical foul was called. A lengthy discussion by the officials led to the call being reversed. So instead of 2 free throws and the ball, the Eagles maintained possession. The Eagles made a single free throw, and the Cowboys came down and quickly made a three pointer to cut it to 58-57 with 15.2 to play. Again the Eagles only got one free throw, and with 13 seconds to go this time the Cowboys couldn’t replicate the magic from the last couple of games and the shot fell short. Southwest comes up short on the road 59-57.
The Eagles were led by Cameron Hayes with 13 points. The Cowboys were led by; (Jayden Turner 14 points, 7 Rebounds), Milli Huggins 12, 5 Assists, 3 Steals, 2 Rebounds), and (Christian Martin 11 points, 6 Rebounds).
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final Smith 05 14 24 16 59 Southwest 15 12 17 13 57
Smith (20-3, 9-1)
Camren Hayes 13
Jordan Williams 3
Jacob Crutchfield 4
Isaiah Bigelow 9
Silas Mason 7
Terence Burris 9
Malik Puryear 3
Jaylin Gamble 6
Jaylan Gainey 5
Southwest (15-6, 5-4)
Milli Huggins 12 points
JT Butler 7 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds
Christian Martin 11 points
Jayden Turner 14 points
Ty Radford 4 points
Cooper Cunningham 5 points, 5 Rebounds
Joel Pettiford 4 points, 2 rebounds
Courtesy of Greg Vlazny, Southwest Guilford assistant coach