Ivy Smith, Jr. hit five of six from the foul line down the stretch as the Wilson Rams held off a late Stadium charge to defeat the Tigers 54-47 on Wednesday night, snapping the Tigers' five-game winning streak. Wilson improved to 8-7 overall on the season with the win.
“We played a solid ballgame tonight, it was the best defense we’ve played all year,” said Rams head coach Dave Alwert of his young squad’s win.
Alphonso Anderson got the Rams out of the gate fast in the first quarter with seven points as Wilson took a 15-11 lead. Anderson finished with 13 points on the night despite going just 4-for-12 from the foul line.
Stadium, behind the team-high total of 15 points from Eric Anderson-Connolly, would make a late run to trim the one-time double-digit Wilson lead to just four midway through the fourth quarter.
“We never really gave up. (Anderson) was huge tonight, he was fantastic tonight,” said Smith, who would finish with game-high 17 points.
As the Tigers paid major attention to Anderson’s scoring ability, the lane would open up for Smith and other Rams to become the beneficiary of it.
“I took advantage of the opportunities to drive the lane and it paid off,” Smith said.
Coming down the stretch, Alwert was looking for his team to establish some toughness on the defensive end, with the run for district playoff spots upcoming. “I can’t say enough about the defense tonight, Booters (Julius Yates-Brown) was a huge factor all night,” Alwert said. “This kind of effort will be required for the rest of the season, and especially against well coached clubs like Stadium and the 3A contenders.”