CHULA — If a monopoly could be declared for close basketball games, surely it would belong to the Tiftarea Academy Panthers. They played two more nail-biters Tuesday night and emerged with a sweep against the Brookwood School Warriors. The girls won, 44-36 while the boys had to wait for a last second shot to bounce off the rim to secure their 40-39 victory.
Tiftarea and Brookwood were evenly matched early in the boys contest and were tied at 20 at halftime. In the 3rd, three quick baskets shot them out to a 6-point lead, but within two minutes it was tied again.
Momentum did seem to take a swing in the Panthers' favor when Christopher Gravitt's score a minute into the 4th made it a 34-27 game. It rocketed right back to Brookwood when Jacob Sloan got hot from the field and when he scored at 1:58, they were down by a single point.
Anxious to build it back up, Gravitt tried to muscle his way for a basket in the low post, but it refused to drop. Trent Hobbs caught the rebound at the foul line, leaned in and had a shot rattle its way through the net at 1:20. Sloan scored again and had a chance for the lead when the Panthers lost possession. A shot missed and a tip battle between Gravitt and a Warrior was last touched by the opposition before it went out of bounds.
Hobbs was fouled on the inbounds pass, but missed the bonus shot with 8 seconds left. Brookwood rebounded, but a hurried long 3-pointer clanged off the rim as time expired.
Tiftarea led by seven at the end of the opening period, the last three being a gift. The Warriors turned the ball over with 12 seconds left, giving Ethan Mims a chance to hit a shot behind the arc.