Yantis holds off Bloomburg

From Staff Reports

Feb. 21, 2008 - GLADEWATER - The Yantis Owls advanced to the area round of the state playoffs with a heart-stopping 60-58 win over Bloomburg. It was the Owls first playoff win in almost two decades.

The Owls hit 12-of-14 free throws in the final minutes to hold of a furious Wildcat rally.

Yantis raced to a 15-8 first quarter lead and then went cold in the second quarter scoring just three points and ending the half tied 18-18.

The Owls came out firing in the third period with Terry Thompson hitting three 3-pointers and Cord Burnett adding another to take a 39-29 lead into the final frantic eight minutes.

Bloomburg fought back to make it 48-46 with four minutes left to play.

"We just kept making a bucket or a free throw and then we would make a stop on defense when we had to," Yantis coach Larry Tucker said. "We got a real team effort from seven young men tonight and great support from the bench. I could not be more proud of these guys than I am right now. They really hung in there when it got tough at the end."

Thompson led the Owls with 16 points on four three-pointers and two layups. Jordan Davis added 15 points and was instrumental on defense holding Bloomburg's high-scoring Brett Sheffield to just 10 points. Davis also had 10 rebounds and six assists.

Also in double figures was Daniel Cerretani with 12 points on just one field goal and 10-of-14 free throws. Cerretani made six consecutive charity tosses in the final three minutes of the game.

Randy Smith had another big night with nine points and 10 rebounds. Smith also had three blocks on Wildcat leaper Raphael Davis and held him to 13 points.

Burnett added seven points, all at critical times in the second half, and had five steals. Tony Garcia added a free throw for the Owls.

Yantis is now 19-12 for the season and will face their biggest chore of the season, squaring off against former No. 1 and currently third-ranked Cayuga. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Grace Community High School in Tyler.

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