As the fouls added up on the court, the fans in the packed stands cheered or complained. But when Glenn Hills’ Aubrey McRae went to the line, he was calm through all the noise.
The Spartans’ boys basketball team won a close, foul-filled game against Laney after McRae hit five of six fourth-quarter free throws to finish with 22 points in a 68-66 win Tuesday night at Glenn Hills.
“It’s a lot of emotion,” McRae said about the Laney-Glenn Hills series. “It’s more of a mental thing than a physical thing. You got to play through it, because it’s going to be hype.”
Both teams made frequent trips to the line, with Laney making 21 of 36 free throws and Glenn Hills converting 17 of 25.
The game, both on the scoreboard and sometimes on the court thanks to turnovers and blocks, was tight throughout.
The Spartans (2-0) led for most of the night, taking a seven point lead into the final quarter. Glenn Hills, which had four players in double figures, fell behind, however, when JaShawn Brooks scored following a rebound. Brooks later hit one free throw with 30.7 seconds to go to make it 66-63.
But McRae went on to make four foul shots in a row, Laney had a turnover and had a shot blocked by Glenn Hills’ Tyrone Brown. The Spartans then clinched the win as Earl Cobb made a free throw and then missed the second on purpose with 1.2 seconds to go. After the shot hit the rim, time quickly disappeared.
The girls game was a 72-25 rout, with the Laney Lady Wildcats stealing passes and swatting shots to create transition points. One play after another, Gemiya Bowman and Destiny Brewton had easy scores following turnovers. Bowman led all players with 14 points.
Laney (4-0) scored the game’s first 11 points and led 28-1 after the first quarter. Glenn Hills didn’t get its first field goal until a little less than six minutes remained in the first half.
By then it was 32-3. and Laney went to its bench.
“We’re starting to find ourselves,” Laney coach Otis Smart said. “We’re going to have kids who will step up by mid-January.”