Philadelphia’s Ahyunte’ Crosby reaches for a rebound during Friday’s games at home against Kemper County. The Tornadoes won the game 46-45.
Philadelphia’s Ahyunte’ Crosby reaches for a rebound during Friday’s games at home against Kemper County. The Tornadoes won the game 46-45.
Tanner Boler sank a three-point shot from the left hand corner with three seconds left to lift the Philadelphia Tornadoes to a 46-45 victory over Kemper County Friday night in prep basketball action.

The two teams were tied at 43-43 with less than a minute left. Kemper County’s Timothy McElroy scored with 14 seconds left to give his team a 45-43 lead.

Play continued.

In a flurry of action, Philadelphia’s Asher Morgan got the past the half court line. He passed the ball to Boler who took his shot. Boom! The Tornadoes claimed the victory, improving their record to 11-4 and evening an earlier 57-49 loss to the Wildcats.

“I tried to get open and Asher found me,” Boler said. “I knew what I was going to do. In my mind, I was confident in my shot and I took it. This was a big win. They beat us a couple of weeks ago and it was a hard loss. We knew we were going to have to play little harder this time.”

It was a close game all the way. Kemper County led 13-11 after the first quarter.  The Tornadoes came back and went up 23-17 by the half.

Kemper County came back to take the lead – 29-28 – when Delance Gillespie sank two free throws with three minutes left in the third quarter. Ahyunte’ Crosby sank a basket and a free throw that put the Tornadoes back in front 31-29 with 1:48 left in the quarter. Crosby then added a three-point shot that gave his team a 34-29 lead with 41 second left in the quarter. The Tornadoes outscored the Wildcats 2-1 in the time remaining and led 36-30 at the break.

Kemper County stayed after Philadelphia and James Granger sank a basket with 3:27 left to give the Wildcats a 39-38 lead. The teams exchanged baskets and the lead changed twice. Philadelphia’s Jordan hit a three-point shot that tied the game at 43-43 with 1:04 remaining. McElroy then sank his shot to give the Wildcats the lead. The ball came down to Philadelphia’s side and Boler hit the three-point shot to settle the issue.

“I told the boys this was a state tournament-like win,” Coach Willis Tullos said. “We really had to grind this one out. You can advance in the state tournament is you play like this.

“We had our best four three-point shooters on the court. The ball could have gone to any of them and I was confident they could make the shot. But Tanner got open and made a great shot. Tanner hadn’t threatened them with the three-point shot during the game but he is one of our better three-point shooters,” Tullos said.

Morgan led with 16 points and Jacobi York put in 10 for the Tornadoes. McElroy led the Wildcats with 15 points.

East Webster 

The Tornadoes split a pair of games in the East Webster tournament during the Christmas holidays.

Philadelphia dropped a 69-67 decision to Louisville. The Tornadoes bounced back to beat Oak Hill Academy 61-31.

In another tight battle, the Louisville game came down to the final quarter. The score was tied at 49-49 heading to the fourth period. The Wildcats had a 20-18 scoring edge to take the win.

Zabin Hunter led with 20 points while Morgan put in 18 points and Hill scored 11 points.

The Tornadoes led Oak Hill 29-17 at the half and held on for the win. Morgan led with 22 points.

This week

The Tornadoes were to visit Choctaw Central Tuesday. They open Region 4-2A play Friday night when they host Newton High School.