North Sand Mountain’s rough start gave way to a championship-winning finish during the Jackson County Tournament’s junior varsity boys championship game.
Fourth-seeded NSM overcame an early 14-point deficit and made some clutch plays down the stretch to rally past second-seeded Section for a 50-48 title-game victory Saturday afternoon at North Jackson High School.
NSM trailed 18-8 after one quarter before trimming Section’s lead to 26-22 at halftime and 36-33 after three quarters. The Bison took their first lead since the opening moments of the first quarter on Nyle Poore’s 3-pointer with 4:37 remaining in the game. Two Jonah Slay free throws upped the Bison’s lead to 44-39 with 4:15 remaining, but Section followed with a 7-0 scoring run and regained the lead on Antoine Jonathan’s 3-pointer with 1:25 remaining. After Poore countered with a 3-pointer 15 seconds later to put NSM back in front 47-46, Titus Beaty’s basket have Section a 48-47 lead with 53.8 seconds left to play.
NSM missed a 3-pointer on its ensuing possession, but Andrew Palmer came up with a steal and dished to Slay for a fast-break layup to put NSM on top 49-48 with 30.2 seconds left.
Section tried to hold the ball for a final shot, but Palmer stole a Section pass with less than 10 seconds left and was eventually fouled with 2.9 seconds remaining. After Palmer made 1 of 2 free throws for NSM, Section’s long desperation shot was short as time expired.
Coach Glen Hicks’ Bison were led Slay’s 14 points. NSM also got 11 points from Poore, 10 from Kaden Brown, six from Konnor Brown and three each from Palmer, Carter Ellison and Tyler Grider.
Jonathan had a game-high 22 points for coach Derek Wynn’s Section team while Beaty had 17, Dillan Pope had three and Aaron Waldrop and Jr. Walker had two each.