THS falls to Central-Coosa in epic rematch

Published 5:42 pm Friday, January 11, 2019

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The Thorsby Rebels were put to the test and performed well despite a 55-52 loss in a memorable game against Central-Coosa on Jan. 10.

It was an evenly matched contest and was vastly different from the first meeting between the teams on Nov. 29, 2018, which Central-Coosa won 74-40.

Sawyer Sellers hit a 3-pointer tucked away in the left corner to tie the game at 52-all with 12.5 seconds remaining.

However, just when the game appeared destined for overtime, Central-Coosa was fouled on a shot from beyond the arc and converted all three free throw attempts with 5.6 on the clock.

The Rebels had one last look as Christian Fortner rushed the ball up the court and fired a 3-pointer that came up short as the buzzer sounded.

The Thorsby coaching staff and the crowd expected a foul to be called on the final play, but no whistle was blown.

“We missed some free throws and gave up a couple of early baskets before halftime that we shouldn’t have given up,” Thorsby head coach Tim Fortner said. “In a close game, it’s the little things that cost you.”

The rematch was played in front of an amped up Thorsby crowd, which had a lot to cheer about especially early on as the Rebels seized a 33-27 halftime lead.

It was evident that Central-Coosa was feeling the pressure and began to slow down the pace of the game as a way to limit possessions and counteract Thorsby’s offensive attack in the second half.

Fortner finished the night with a triple-double that included a game-high 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocked shots. He left the Central-Coosa coaching staff scratching their heads on several occasions.

The Rebels received timely shots from Cole Farris, Sellers, Tucker Patterson and John Ryan Wood throughout the game. They combined for 19 points as a group.

“They came up and made some big plays for us,” Tim Fortner said. “It helped to get Sawyer [Sellers] back [from an ankle injury] tonight. He couldn’t play a lot, but with the minutes he got he was able to help us rebounding.”

However, despite leading 48-42 heading into the final quarter, Thorsby was outscored 13-4 in the closing period of play.

“In the fourth quarter we just had trouble generating some offense,” Tim Fortner said. “I think we got a little tired.”

There were plenty of opportunities to extend the lead to put points on the scoreboard in the waning moments, including some juicy looks at the rim that the Rebels were unable to capitalize on.

“If they go in, it’s a different game,” Tim Fortner said.

The loss dropped Thorsby to a record of 12-3 overall and 1-2 in area play. Two of the Rebels’ three losses this season have come against Central-Coosa.