Cedar Shoals faced off against Gainesville last night in a tough battle. Gainesville has been Cedar’s rival for a while now, even after changing regions. The Jags pulled off a tight victory, winning by three points. The final score was 73-70.
The entire game went back and forth between Cedar and Gainesville, coming down to the final seconds as Gainesville hit a key three-pointer with 50 seconds left on the clock. The momentum revolved around Cedar, helping them score a key shot with 20 seconds left. Gainesville’s team had to start fouling on purpose, which made it hard to comeback.
Tyler Johnson, a 6’1” junior guard helped boost momentum. With around a minute left in the second quarter, Johnson caught a missed shot from Quincy Canty and slammed the ball in, hanging off of the rim. This dunk put them in the lead, 27-26.
“I really don’t even know how I did it,” said Johnson. “ I was in the moment and I just let my body do the work.”
That dunk not only put them in the lead, but sent the crowd erupting.
“The crowd really just gives us extra drive to win and score more points” Johnson said. “The game can go either way depending on the stands.”
Johnson finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds. He kept constant pressure on Gainesville, racking in 4 steals. Johnson took quality shots and played consistently on the defensive end.
The Red Elephants played intense defense the whole game, forcing sloppy turnovers from the Jaguar offense.
Quincy Canty, a 6’6” junior center noticed this pressure.
“We had to step up our speed, passing, and style. It was a hard game for sure, but we still picked up the win,” Canty said.
Because the game was so tight, the team recognized that instead of one person stepping up, the whole team had to lead as one.
“We all knew that the team had to step up, so we all decided to together,” said Canty, who finished with 23 points and 9 rebounds.