Braves survive FT contest to hold off Carolina Forest

sochoops-32dunkA heated intra-county rivalry between Socastee and Carolina Forest came down to a free-throwing shooting contest Friday night – one neither team appeared destined to win.

Both teams went 2-for-6 from the charity stripe over the final 2 minutes, but the Braves were able to survive down the stretch for a 55-53 victory over the visiting Panthers.

With the game tied at 51-all, Socastee’s Dylan Thompson threw a behind-the-back pass to Koel Cutler for the go-ahead layup with just over 2 minutes remaining. Neither team could manage a field goal the rest of the way and struggled at the foul line.

Carolina Forest’s Zavier Jones missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but Ryan Yurachek hit 1 of 2 to cut the deficit in half at 53-52. Cutler, who led the Braves with 22 points and had been a near-perfect at the foul line, missed a pair of attempts to open the door for the Panthers.

Yurachek, who tied for team-high scoring honors with Parker Helgerson with 12 points, went 1 for 2 again to tie it up with 18 seconds left, but Socastee got a pair of 1-for-2 efforts from brothers Finn and Devin Melko to take the lead with 10 seconds left. Carolina Forest freshman Duane Moss was fouled on a buzzer-beater attempt but missed both foul shots, the second intentionally, to end the foul-shot fest.

The win was the first at The Brave Wave for first-year head coach Deande Scott, who improved to 2-0. The Panthers, playing their third game in four days, fell to 1-2.

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