Tioga High’s Aaron Epps (21) looks for a rebound Friday as he plays against Peabody Magnet High. Peabody won, 69-50. / Tia Owens-Powersfirstname.lastname@example.org
A flagrant foul against Tioga High late in the third quarter Friday changed everything in Peabody Magnet High's 69-50 victory in District 3-4A boys basketball at Tioga.
Peabody HIgh led just 45-40 when Tioga's Aaron Epps yanked on Demetrius Boyd's jersey as he drove for a layup, resulting in a flagrant foul charge and a four-point play, with two penalty free throws by Boyd.
That ignited an 11-0 run to close the period, including a 3-pointer by Jeff Sibley at the buzzer, to put Peabody up, 56-40.
The Warhorses dominated thereafter.
"I think that kind of took the wind out of their sails," said Peabody coach Charles Smith, "and that 3 that Sibley made at the buzzer was kind of a daggar."
"I would say those two minutes were the difference in the game," said Tioga coach Lance Brasher, whose squad, after a 20-1 start, is now 20-4 overall and 0-3 in district. "It still puzzles me why (Epps) did that."
"That was a play that we felt like sparked us," said Gabriel Jordan, a 6-foot-1 junior, who led Peabody (19-4, 3-0) with 23 points, including four 3-pointers, and 17 rebounds. "After that, we picked up the tempo, pushing the ball, knocking down shots and making plays."
Epps, a 6-6 junior, and guard Terrance Cobb shared the scoring lead for Tioga with 14 points apiece. Epps blocked four shots in the first quarter, when Tioga led 15-14, but the Warhorses eluded any further blocks by Epps the rest of the way.
"You don't play against a kid that tall every day," said Smith, who rotated the threesome of Robert Gullette, Carlton Lowe and Boyd in covering Epps during the contest. "On offense we weren't going to let him intimidate us, so we kept driving at him, but we told the kids if he comes out to block your shot, that means he's left his man, so look for the next pass."
Peabody built as much as a 19-point lead, at 61-42, in the fourth quarter, when the Warhorses converted 13 of 15 free throws.
"Everybody didn't expect us to win this game," said Jordan, who's part of a Peabody team that is rebuilding with virtually an entirely different crew that won the state championship last year. "There wasn't the same anticipation as last year, but we used that as motivation, as we wanted to prove to everybody that we're still in control." GIRLS Peabody rolled past Tioga, 62-38, in District 3-4A girls basketball, led by Khadejah Alexander's 13 points. Brittany Rogers scored 19 for Tioga