The game seemed out of reach for the Generals of Jackson High. South Miami rebounded from being down 24-17 at the end of the first quarter to take a 65-54 lead into the fourth quarter. They seemed to have everything in control.
Brian Asbury came out red hot in the first half leading all scorers with 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting. He was hitting hit outside jumper and driving to the basket with ease. However, in the second half it was different story.
"I was feeling good tonight," Asbury said. "It was a tough loss for us and it was especially tough at the end watching from the bench."
He was pulled with 2:25 remaining in the third quarter after picking up his third foul with 23 points—he would not score the rest of the game. He came back within the first minute of the fourth quarter and shared duties of bringing the ball up the court—something South Miami has had trouble with all season.
"Right now it is very disappointing," South Miami head coach Fred Jones, who will be retiring at the end of the season after 22 years. "I thought we had the game won. We had turnovers and made bad decisions."
Miami Jackson played with speed, energy, enthusiasm, and most importantly—they played with passion. They had a good pace to their game beginning in pregame warm-ups. It was clear to see that they would not play scared not would they buckle under pressure.
Jackson got the break they needed when Asbury fouled out with 1:51 remaining. Things got very interesting as they hit three-point field goals to close the gap.
With the 16 seconds left in the game and the score tied 81-81, Jones called a timeout. Problem was, they were out of timeouts. Jackson sank both free throws for their first lead since the second quarter.
Jackson got the ball back because of the technical and was fouled with 13 seconds left. As the teams were preparing for a free throw a Jackson fan ran around the outside of the court and in front of the South Miami student section. The officials huddled up and decided to give a technical foul to the Jackson bench for their fan's behavior. The technical foul seemed a bit harsh for a fan's behavior that did not disrupt the flow of the game.
After Jackson hit two free throws, South Miami was awarded two free throws and the ball for the technical. Down 85-81, junior Raymond Moore sank both shots. South Miami in bounded the ball and was called for an over-and-back giving the ball and the game back to Jackson.
Asbury was clearly missed at the end of the game, as he had to watch from the bench. In the second quarter Asbury got the crowd in frenzy with an emphatic follow-up dunk off of a missed lay up in transition. There is no shortage of jumping ability in this 6-foot-6, 195-pound swingman.
Asbury is now averaging 26.2 points per game this season and prior to this game and has scored 20 or more points in 18-of-19 games. His season-high is 36 points, which came on December 9 against Krop.
"You describe Brian Asbury as being a great player and tremendous competitor," Jones said. "He does all of the things you need to do to get a win. It was clear to see tonight at the end of the game that we don't function very well without him."
South Miami's next game is February 8 in the GMAC tournament before the district tournament.
"I don't know if the break will help us," Asbury said. "I think we need to keep playing to get things worked out."
"We have to get back to the drawing boards," Jones said. "We are going to have to start all over again. We need to get back to practice and work on the things we need to work on. It is obvious that we have things to work on."
Began the game in a very good offensive rhythm…used pump fake well to set up a closer shot…hard to contain when he penetrates the lane…extremely quick release…sets the ball up well in his shooting hand and rarely shoots a bad shot…strong in the open court…finishes in transition…showed ability to post-up smaller players…used a phenomenal drop-step in the post and finished with a two-hand dunk…tough to score against when in man defense.
ASBURY QUARTER BREAKDOWN
Q PTS FG 3-PT FT 1st: 10 3-4 1-2 3-4 2nd 9 4-4 1-1 0-0 3rd 4 2-2 0-0 0-0 4th 0 0-0 0-0 0-1 Final 23 9-10 2-3 3-5BOXSCORE
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final South 17 27 21 18 83 Jackson 24 14 16 33 87Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at email@example.com.