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.