It did so during Monday night’s basketball game against Class 1A, Area 14 rival Collinsville.
The 5-foot-9 Harris broke the game open for the second-ranked Tigers with consecutive 3-pointers. He nailed one as the third-quarter buzzer sounded and another one to begin the fourth to help Cedar Bluff capture a 78-61 win over the seventh-ranked Panthers.
“I owe it to my teammates to play hard. They just passed me the ball and I knocked them down,” Harris said. “I felt like they changed the game. It wasn’t looking too good at the beginning, but in the end we stepped it up.”
Harris finished with 10 points for the Tigers (11-1, 4-0), all of which came in the second half. His 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter gave Cedar Bluff a 56-51 lead, and his second with 7:26 to go in the fourth swelled the Tiger advantage to 59-51.
“It was the spark we needed,” Cedar Bluff head coach Joe Carpenter said of Harris’s clutch 3-pointers. “We didn’t play well the first half at all as far as shooting the ball. In the end, we just kept hammering at them with the press. Eventually, we broke it open and put them in a different scenario when it got under four minutes. It made a big difference.”
For the better part of three quarters, Collinsville (10-5, 3-2) kept things nip and tuck with the Tigers. The Panthers jumped out on a 6-0 run to begin the game, only to see Cedar Bluff tie it at 12 at the end of the first quarter off a made 3-pointer and ensuing foul shot by senior guard Tyric Scales.
Scales led all scorers 27 points. He also had four steals for the Tigers.
Collinsville managed to go up by as many as seven points after a 3-pointer by Tyler Tidmore put the Panthers in front 21-14 with 5:50 to go in the half. Cedar Bluff battled back to take a 33-32 lead headed into the break on a rebound and putback by Tony McGinnis.
McGinnis finished with 10 points and a pair of steals.
The two teams battled back and forth throughout the third until Harris’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer stretched the Tiger lead to 56-51 heading into the fourth.
“They hit six threes tonight, and anytime they hit threes and you’ve got to extend on them, it’s hard to keep them out of the lane,” Collinsville coach Jon Tidmore said. “I thought we had a chance down to the very end, but give credit to them. They’re defense is very good. They got a lot of poke outs from behind, but I thought we took care of the ball pretty well.
“I was proud of our kids. Hopefully we can play them again somewhere down the road.”
DeShawn Moore led the Panthers with 21 points and 15 rebounds. Davey Posey added 14 points and 10 boards. Tyler Tidmore finished with 11 points and three rebounds.
DeAngelo Hardy had 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals for Cedar Bluff. Marcus Reese added 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
The win by the Tigers puts them in the driver’s seat to host the upcoming area tournament. They won the season series with Collinsville, but the Tigers still have area games with Gaylesville, Valley Head and Spring Garden.
“They control their own destiny whether or not they want to host the area (tournament) here,” Carpenter said. “I’m glad they came out in the end and turned it up a little bit. We’re fortunate tonight to come out of here with a win.”
Cedar Bluff 34, Collinsville 33
CEDAR BLUFF – Cedar Bluff junior guard Candria Dupree’s rebound and putback with 14.3 seconds remaining proved to be the difference as the Lady Tigers knocked off Collinsville 34-33 in a Class 1A, Area 14 basketball battle on Monday.
It was Dupree’s only points in the game for the Lady Tigers (4-8, 1-3).
Down 34-31 after Dupree’s bucket, Collinsville (6-5, 3-2) managed to get an open look at 3-pointer with time dwindling down. However, it missed the mark.
Kristen Ford was able to get the rebound and putback with just over one second remaining for the final. Ford led all scorers with 18 points.
For the game, Cedar Bluff had 15 steals, but couldn’t cash many of those created opportunities into points.
“We created a lot of turnovers, but we’ve got to put those in the basket somehow,” Carpenter said. “We missed a lot of layups and chances at layups. We’ve got to quit doing that, make the steal, make the turnover and come back down and score. They’re young and still learning, but I think they’re getting better.”
Sophomore forward Hannah Leach led Cedar Bluff with 11 points, three steals and two rebounds. Fellow sophomore forward Audrey Harguitt had 10 points and five boards.
Freshman guard Katie McGinnis came away with six points, four steals, a rebound and an assist. Senior guard Lindsey Lambert finished with four points, four steals, five rebounds and an assist.
Marissa Solomon added seven points for Collinsville.
The Lady Panthers held a 10-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Cedar Bluff managed to come back and take a 19-18 advantage at halftime.
Collinsville surged back out in front at 27-21 after three quarters, but the Lady Tigers went on a 13-6 run in the fourth for the final.
“Turnovers were definitely the difference in the game,” Tidmore said. “We had a chance to win the game, but we just didn’t play with a lot of confidence. We’ve had a pretty big layoff, so maybe we can overcome that this week.”