The Commerce boys’ basketball team improved to 9-9 last Tuesday, after rallying in the fourth quarter to come back against George Walton Academy.
After a sluggish start, the Tigers fought throughout the night to keep the game as close as possible. Down by four heading into the fourth, victory was in an arm’s reach.
Commerce outscored the Bulldogs 18-7 in the final quarter to secure a 54-47 victory.
“Once we got the lead and they started fouling, we hit almost all our free throws,” said Tiger head coach Rob Brown. “That was the difference maker in the game.”
The Tigers were, in fact, 7-of-10 at the free throw line.
Tyre Treadwell led the Commerce scoring effort with 15 points.
The .500 Tigers now turn their attention to an all-too-familiar foe.
Friday, Commerce will make its way across the river to do battle with the Dragons.
Jefferson knocked off the Tigers earlier in the year, so Commerce will be looking for some payback.
However, Brown feels a victory is important for a much different reason than rivalry bragging rights.
“We want to win, mainly because of the power rankings,” he said. “Jefferson has a pretty good record, so a win against them would boost our record. We need all the power ranking points we can get.”
The Tigers currently sit in the 25th position in the class-A public school power rankings and need to work their way up to 16th to earn a possible spot in the state tournament; however, with only six games left to play, the Commerce is on the outside looking in.
While Commerce isn’t guaranteed a spot in the state tourney, Brown says his team is taking one game at a time.
For Commerce, keys to a victory against the Dragons begin with how well the Tigers can shoot the ball.
While the Tigers held a high scoring Jefferson offense to 47 points in their last meeting, the Tigers missed a lot of shots and were only able to put up 42 themselves.
“Anytime you play (Jefferson), you have to contain them from the three-point line,” said Brown. “You also have to compete with them in the paint and try and get rebounds. Our main focus will just be to score. If we can put up 50, I think we will have a really good chance.”
Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. at Jefferson High School.
The Lady Tigers dropped to 4-14 on the season Tuesday after being overpowered by a high-octane George Walton Academy offense.
The Bulldogs outscored Commerce every step of the way en route to a 62-22 victory.
“It was a bad game,” said Lady Tiger head coach Rex Gregg. “They are a very talented team – and big. It’s the first game we didn’t play well since Christmas.”
Gregg added that the one bright spot in the GWA game was the play of Bridgett Barnett. Barnett hit 4-of-7 field goals and led the Tiger scoring with 11 points.
Commerce will travel to Jefferson on Friday, to take on a Lady Dragon team that ousted the Tigers 35-55 in their last meeting.
“We just have to cut down on turnovers and shoot the ball if we are going to have any success at all (on Friday),” said Gregg. “Our shooting percentage has went up and our three-point percentage is higher than most of our opponents. The key is just holding on to the ball.”