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Grayson survives Tide scare

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The MED’s top team had to struggle through a valiant effort by Galax to go to 8-0 in the league.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

A 3-14 record at this point in the season would have been a little more palatable for Galax if one of those wins happened to be over archrival and Mountain Empire District-leading Grayson County.

As it was, the Blue Devils, who took the last meeting by 20 points, kept their unblemished district record intact and Galax had to settle for another ‘close but not quite’ kind of night.

With the Maroon Tide leading 46-43 and less than two and a half minutes to play Friday, a technical foul sustained what would become a six-point possession for Grayson County, turning the momentum and leading to the Blue Devils’ 55-52 win.

Galax (2-15 overall, 1-7 district) had done what it needed to do up to that point, frustrating the Blue Devils (15-5, 8-0) with tenacious defense, outworking Grayson on the boards and getting enough offense to keep pace and even take the lead in crunch time.

With his team down by three, Ty Cannaday came up with a steal under his own bucket immediately after a Galax takeaway, put in a soft jumper while drawing a foul, which also resulted in a technical foul on the Maroon Tide. Cannaday completed the three-point play and hit one of the two technical shots, and Landon Frost scored on a reverse layup to bring Grayson from three down to up 49-46 at the 2:11 mark without Galax having touched the ball.

The Maroon Tide would pull to within a point twice, the final time coming on two Dominic DiGiacomo free throws with 40.8 seconds to play. Max Rodgers dished off to Adam Wyatt for a layup with 34 seconds to go, and a missed Galax 3-pointer resulted in a breakaway layup for Wyatt with six seconds left to ice the win.

Grayson played much of the night without two of its top three scorers. Mikey Rodgers was on the bench in street clothes dealing with an illness and Max Rodgers picked up his third foul seconds before the end of the first half. The younger Rodgers sat out the third period and was whistled for his fourth foul 18 seconds into the fourth quarter and didn’t return until the four-minute mark, during which time Galax rallied from a 34-28 deficit into a 42-38 lead. 

DiGiacomo converted a three-point play to spark a 14-4 Maroon Tide run that saw Galax go 9-for-10 from the foul line. Chase Garvey scored to give the Tide a 40-38 lead and Steven Peoples’ drive put Galax up by four before the Blue Devils put together their comeback.

The first half was an effort in futility for both squads as it was the 3:30 mark of the second period until both teams were in double figures. Galax took a 5-4 lead into the second quarter and was poised to enter the half with the lead until Cannaday beat the buzzer with a long trey for an 18-16 halftime lead for Grayson.

Both teams were 2-of-14 from the floor in the first period and managed just five field goals each in the first half.

Grayson County would go 11-of-22 after halftime, but Galax dominated the offensive glass and managed 31 attempts from the floor in the second half.

Cannaday led all scorers with 23 points and Rodgers added eight points and 10 boards. Garvey paced Galax with 12 points while DiGiacomo had nine points and six rebounds.

 

Grayson County......4  14  16  21––55

Galax.......................5  11  12  24––52

 

Grayson County (15-5, 8-0)

Frost 2 2-3 6, Cannaday 6 9-11 23, Rudy 2 4-5 8, Mx.Rodgers 2 4-5 8, Wyatt 3 0-0 6, Circle 1 2-2 4. Totals 16 21-26 55. 

Galax (2-15, 1-7)

K.Brown 0 1-2 1, Bartlett 1 2-3 5, Pack 2 0-0 4, D.Brown 2 3-9 7, Peoples 1 2-2 4, Quesenberry 2 4-5 8, Garvey 4 4-5 12, DiGiacomo 2 4-5 9, Bryant 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 20-31 52.

 

Three-point field goals – Grayson County 2-9 (Cannaday 2), Galax 2-18 (Bartlett, DiGiacomo). Rebounds – Grayson County 33 (Mx.Rodgers 10), Galax 41 (DiGiacomo 6). Turnovers – Grayson County 12, Galax 10. Team fouls – Grayson County 22, Galax 21. Fouled out – Mx.Rodgers, Circle, Peoples. Technical fouls – Peoples.

 

JV – Galax 38-35.