Wrapping up the Jim Cordell Christmas Classic last Saturday, Sweetwater got out to an early lead and held on through a Halls’ rally in a 66-43 win over the Red Devils inside Harriman Middle School’s gymnasium.
Sweetwater raced out to the advantage from the opening tip. Bryce Johnson and Austin Long poured in layups and Dominique Oggs scored eight points in a row, including two monstrous dunks, to push the Wildcats out to a 12-2 lead. Matthew Kile finished off the first quarter with six straight points on two baskets and a free throw to give Sweetwater an 18-7 lead after one quarter.
Kile and Oggs went back to work to start the second quarter and sank a basket apiece. Kade Correll added a steal and a score as the lead grew to 24-10.
Matthew Phillips answered with a 3-pointer for Halls, and Landon Wells added another, but it was not enough for the Red Devils to keep pace with the Wildcats. The main damage from the Halls’ squad came from the free throw stripe in the second quarter, but the Wildcats still led 25-19 at the halftime intermission.
Sweetwater continued to pour on the offense in the second half. Oggs made a layup and a tip shot and Kile sank a layup on the run to extend the lead back to 10. Jayce Upton connected on Sweetwater’s first 3-pointer moments later to boost the Wildcats. Oggs and Kile continued to take over for the Wildcats and scored the final 10 points of the third quarter for Sweetwater as Halls struggled to find an answer.
The only thing that seemed to be working for the Red Devils was Wells, who scored 10 of the 12 Halls’ points in the third quarter. Wells made two 3-pointers but the Red Devils still trailed 46-31 after three.
Dylan Wires came alive for the Red Devils in the final stand and sank two key 3-pointers to pull Halls closer. Wires also made two layups and two free throws as part of a major Red Devil surge.
Sweetwater kept scoring, however. Long got a jumper and a layup and Johnson, Oggs, and Kile each chipped in a basket to keep Sweetwater ahead.
With time dwindling, Halls began to foul the Wildcats, and Sweetwater converted from the free throw line. Two technical fouls against the Red Devils complicated their comeback attempt and gave Sweetwater more chances from the stripe. The Wildcats scored the last nine points of the contest from the charity stripe to seal the win and a perfect record in the Jim Cordell Christmas Classic.
Oggs led the Wildcats with 24 and Kile added 21. Wires led Halls with 17 and Wells added 16.