NMS boys have victory bounce their way

Published 11:06 pm Monday, December 11, 2006

By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
Sometimes a team needs a bounce or two to go its way in order to win.
It was a shot by Percy Travis that bounced on the rim and dropped through the net with just over a minute left that gave the W.S. Neal Middle School Blue Eagles the lead. It was a three-point shot by Jay's Hunter Russo that spun around the rim and fell out in the waning moments that helped preserve the Blue Eagles' 25-23 win at the Florida school Wednesday.
The wild finish followed a big comeback for the Blue Eagles (6-2), who scored just two points in the first 7:15 of the game and fell behind 9-2 during that stretch.
Despite the slow start, W.S. Neal managed to catch the Royals by halftime. Three second quarter field goals and a free throw by Kenny Kiser and a steal converted into a layup by Travis tied the game at 11-11.
W.S. Neal did not take its first lead until there were nine seconds left in the third quarter when Kiser, who led all scorers with 15 points, drove inside and scored to put the Blue Eagles up 17-15.
Jay came back in the fourth quarter and took a 23-22 lead on a basket by Russo with 1:30 left.
Travis' shot wit 1:14 left put the Blue Eagles up for good and a field goal by Kiser with 55 ticks extended the lead to 25-22.
Russo hit one of two charity tosses with 31 seconds left to narrow the lead to 25-23 and then narrowly missed his three-point shot with 25 seconds left that would have given Jay the lead.
W.S. Neal's girls had their highest offensive output of the season, but came up on the short end of a 23-13 decision to Jay.
The Lady Royals appeared to have the game well in hand headed into the fourth quarter. Not only did Jay have a 12-4 lead at the time, but the Lady Royals had also kept W.S. Neal scoreless for more than nine minutes.
That quickly changed when Athena Davis hit a baseline jumper, Angelique Askew scored off an offensive rebound and Davis drilled a three-pointer that cut the gap to just 12-11 with 3:51 left.
Jay still had a one-possession lead of 16-13 headed into the final minute, but the Lady Royals put the game away on field goals by Haley Mulford, Robin Blackman and Danielle Skaggs.
W.S. Neal will close out the home portion of its season Monday when it entertains Ernest Ward. Play starts at 4 p.m. with the girls game. W.S. Neal closes out its season Tuesday at Flomaton. That action kicks off at 1 p.m.
Girls
W.S. Neal 2 2 0 9 - 13
Jay 2 7 3 11 - 23
W.S. NEAL- Davis 7, E. Hunter 2, Askew 2, Elliott 2
W.S. Neal 2 9 6 8 - 25
Jay 9 2 4 8 - 23
W.S. NEAL- Kiser 15, Travis 8, Elliott 2