Ringgold Tigers

The eighth-seeded Ringgold Tigers rode the hot hand of senior sharpshooter Logan Hullender and put up a valiant effort against fifth-seeded Sonoraville on Tuesday night, but the Phoenix would pull away in the last 4:24 and end Ringgold's season, 63-52, at the Region 6-AAA tournament at North Murray High School.

Ringgold jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, but trailed 11-8 at the end of the first quarter. The lead would change hands several times in the second quarter. Jayden Williams connected on a 3-pointer with 3:45 to go in the half to put the Tigers up 19-17 and Hullender would hit two 3-pointers in the final 1:20 to regain the lead for his team both times.

However, Sonoraville scored four final points in last 28 seconds to take a 28-25 lead into the locker room.

Ringgold came out of the break and got back-to-back 3-pointers by Hullender to regain the lead, only to see the Phoenix come right back with an 8-0 run to go back in front as the cat-and-mouse game continued. Hullender would hit his third consecutive 3-pointer of the quarter late in the period and the Tigers went into the final eight minutes down by just two points, 44-42.

But knotted up 46 apiece with under five minutes to play, Sonoraville would go on a decisive 17-6 run to polish off the win. Murray Somers would score 11 of those points down the stretch, including six in an 8-0 run that put his team up 54-46 with 2:46 remaining.

The Tigers would trim the Phoenix's lead down to six points twice in the final 2:46, including on a 3-pointer by O'Reilly Matthews with 1:14 to go. However, with the Tigers forced to foul, Somers and John Lister would combine to go 5 of 6 at the charity stripe in the final 51 seconds to seal the victory.

Somers led Sonoraville with 24 points as the Phoenix advanced to take on fourth-seeded Calhoun on Thursday.

Hullender connected on seven 3-pointers and finished with 27 points in his final game for the Tigers (7-19). Matthews finished with 11 points and Colter Long added seven. Four points by Brevin Massengale and three from Williams filled out the score sheet for Ringgold.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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