COLLINSVILLE – The Collinsville Panthers used a fourth-quarter rally to jump ahead of the Asbury Rams late Friday night and win the 2A, Area 14 Tournament.
The Panthers trailed by four at the start of the fourth and outscored the Rams 12-5 down the stretch to hold on for a 55-52 win at L.D. Dobbins Gymnasium.
Friday’s opening quarter went the opposite way with the Rams draining three from deep range on their way to a 19-point first quarter.
Collinsville kept pace with six early points from Kaleb Jones and five from Isaac Jones as they fell behind 19-11 after one.
A pair of 3-pointers from Caleb Pruitt and one from Drew Bobo helped the Panthers cut into the Rams’ lead in the second quarter. Isaac Jones added six points on one bucket and four free throws.
The Panthers outscored Asbury 17-13 for the period and went into the half trailed 32-28.
Both teams traded points back and forth throughout the third and ended up scoring 15 each.
Isaac Jones hit three shots in the paint and Kaleb Jones nailed a deep three. The Panthers went 6 for 8 at the line in the third and entered the fourth still trailing by four.
The Panthers’ defense stepped up in a big way down the stretch, holding the Rams to just five points and not allowing them to get to the line once in the final eight minutes.
On the other end, Collinsville hit just three shots from the field but got to the line consistently, where they hit 6 of 10 shots late.
Free throws lifted the Panthers throughout the night as they hit 20 of 28 from the charity stripe.
Isaac Jones hit seven shots from the paint, one from deep range and was 8 for 11 from the free-throw line. He led all scorers Friday with 25 points.
Kaleb Jones hit three shots from the field and made 9 of 10 from the free-throw line to follow with 16 points.
Pruitt hit two 3-pointers and scored 10. Bobo finished with four points for the Panthers.
The win earned Collinsville the right to play at home in the sub-regional round, where they will face Area 15 runner-up North Sand Mountain for a chance to advance to Jacksonville State for the 2A Northeast Regional Tournament.