Grapeland boys win playoff opener
By Larry Lamb
That hashtag posted on social media became the battle cry for the Grapeland Sandies going into their bi-district game against Frankston on Saturday, Feb. 20.
After plans to play the game at Rusk fell through due to weather-related issues, the two schools agreed on flipping for home-and-home.
Frankston won the coin toss but home court advantage was not enough for the Indians to overcome the No. 3 ranked Sandies, who prevailed 87-68.
The Sandies jumped out to an 11-2 lead but after Frankston cut the lead to two, the Sandies closed out the quarter with a 13-6 run.
Led by senior B.J. Lamb’s five-of-five trey barrage, the Sandies pulled away to lead 29-20 at the end of the first.
The Trinity Valley Community College football recruit dazzled fans when he stole the ball and raced down the floor for a slam dunk.
Then Lamb drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer to boost his first quarter total to 17 points and give the Sandies a nine-point lead.
Although his family’s home was destroyed by fire earlier in the week, Lamb was able to overcome adversity and focus on the game.
Lamb, who finished the night with seven treys, booked a game-high 33 points and 11 assists to attain double-double status.
Frankston stayed close early in the second period but saw the Sandies rattle off a 21-5 run in the final five minutes of the half to pull away 54-32.
After Grapeland took its biggest lead of 30 points early in the third, Frankston answered with a 13-2 flurry to get within 19.
The Sandies answered with a big run, however, to push their lead out to 73-49 heading into the final period.
The Indians stayed alive with another 13-2 run that whittled the gap down to 75-62 with 3:40 left.
But Frankston’s hopes of a miracle finish evaporated with a 12-6 run by the Sandies down the stretch.
Two other Sandies joined Lamb with double-doubles.
Cadarian Wiley was right behind him with 32 points and 12 rebounds.
Wiley scored six in the first quarter, 10 in the second and eight in each of the last two frames.
Keizion Ashford buried three treys and tallied 12 points along with 10 assists.
Riley Murchison contributed six points on a pair of treys, Omarian Wiley chipped in four and Michael Dancer had two.
In an earlier bi-district game in the Frankston gym, top-ranked Martin’s Mill defeated Lovelady 90-41.
Fans were already speculating about a possible third round clash pitting the Sandies and Martin’s Mill.
Grapeland defeated Mart 74-44 in the area round and Martin’s Mill edged Rosebud-Lott 59-42 to set up a showdown in the regional quarterfinals Saturday, Feb. 27 in Frankston.
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