Twice in the fourth quarter, Tullahoma found itself down by seven points. Rather than fold, the Wildcats rallied, eventually taking the lead for good with 2:32 left on the clock, closing out the regular season with a 50-46 home win over Franklin County on Thursday night.
Deven Shockley knocked down a basket for the Rebels, putting them up 41-34 with 5:55 remaining in the contest. It was all Tullahoma from that point on, as the Wildcats put together a 10-2 run, pulling ahead late in the period.
Matthew Ross got the rally going with a basket for Tullahoma, before Austin Secrest and Corvion Fields each added a basket. Ross then knocked down a pair of free throws and scored on a basket off of a rebound, giving the Wildcats a 44-43 edge with 2:32 remaining in the period.
Franklin County had its chances to even the score, but missed the front-end of a pair of one-and-ones. Tullahoma took advantage of the opportunity and extended its lead.
After three missed shots at the rim, Joe Duncan finally got the rebound, putting it back for the Wildcats, giving his team a 46-43 edge with 1:29 left on the clock.
Ben Fulton went on to hit four-straight free throws for Tullahoma, giving his team a 50-43 edge with 29.1 seconds remaining. Aydan Yates hit a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter for the Rebels’ final points of the night, but that was all they could muster.
Fulton led the Wildcats in scoring on the night, putting up 17 points in the victory. Secrest and Ross also finished with double figures, each netting 10 points.
Fields finished his night with six points for Tullahoma, while Jake Hollandsworth added three. Duncan added his two points, while Race Marin and Quintin Howard each hit a free throw.
Early on Thursday, the teams found themselves in a back-and-forth effort, featuring six lead changes and four ties. With the Wildcats down 9-8, Fulton hit back-to-back 3-pointers for Tullahoma, putting his team up 14-9 with 1:31 remaining in the first period. Secrest added another 3 for the Wildcats as they took a 17-11 advantage into the second quarter.
Fulton knocked down a 3-pointer 16 seconds into the second, putting Tullahoma in front 20-11. Franklin County controlled the remainder of the second period though, going on a 14-5 run, evening the score at 25 at halftime. Yates hit back-to-back 3s for the Rebels to close out the first half.
The teams matched each other shot for shot in the first few minutes of the third quarter, until Franklin County began to take control. With the score tied at 30, Yates knocked down a 3, giving the Rebels a 33-30 advantage with 2:29 remaining in the period.
Omar Robinson hit a free throw for the Rebels in the final minutes of the third quarter, while Kevin Johnson added a field goal, putting their team up 36-31 heading into the final period of play. Howard hit a free throw for Tullahoma before the third quarter concluded.
After winning on Thursday, Tullahoma concludes the regular season with a 7-19 overall record, going 3-9 against opponents. The Wildcats will host Shelbyville on Saturday for the District 8-AAA Tournament Play-In Game. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.