Yellowjackets emerge victorious

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The Yellowjackets and Carthage Bulldogs engaged in a classic struggle at the Spring Hill Tourney on Dec. 27 with Mineola emerging victorious on Davian Sneed’s basket with seconds to play. The 38-35 score was indicative of the hard-fought defensive struggle where every offensive move was countered by strong physical defense.

The Yellowjacket win put them atop their group which included Carthage, Gilmer and Hooks.

The opening quarter was straight-up even. Each team had three turnovers, and Mineola held a slim 9–8 rebounding edge. Three three-pointers by Shaw Franklin, the last of which was a four-point play and tied the game at 13, were scored against the stingy Carthage 2/3 defense. A nice inside bucket by Trey Sneed from a Kadavian George assist rounded out the first quarter scoring.

The Yellowjackets struggled to score on close-in opportunities early in the second quarter. Finally, an inside bucket by Davian Sneed and scoring drives by Jonah Fischer and Trey Sneed drew Mineola to within a point at 19-20. With two minutes to play in the half, Franklin drained a jumper in the lane giving the Jackets a slim 21–20 margin at half.

The Yellowjackets built a 25–20 lead behind an offensive rebound put-back by Davian Sneed, and a second Sneed inside score off a George assist. George also contributed two blocked shots in this short interval.

Mineola then went cold while Carthage fought back to take a 30–27 lead into the fourth quarter. Mineola applied severe full-court pressure at the onset of the quarter, leveraging two Carthage turnovers to take a 33–31 lead. Crunching inside play highlighted the final quarter. With three minutes to play, Carthage came out of its zone to pressure the ball and created a turnover, but they could not capitalize.

Carthage eventually tied the game at 33 with 45 seconds to play. Trey Sneed then took a drive to the basket and hit the court hard after drawing a foul on the play. He sat out the final exchanges. The teams were tied again at 35 with 16 seconds to play.

With under 10 seconds on the clock, Franklin took a mid-range jumper, which hit the iron. Davian Sneed came down with the rebound, put it back in for two and was fouled on the play. He hit the free throw giving Mineola the 38–35 victory.

The two evenly-matched teams played differing styles with Mineola getting the ball inside to their post players, while Carthage depended almost entirely on their guards driving to the basket. Offensive rebounding played a huge role on the night, with the Yellowjackets holding a 27–21 total rebounding advantage.

The win launched Mineola into favorable placement in the tourney’s winner’s bracket.

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