Sadik Spence did some jawing with Ooltewah point guard Antonio Jackson on Wednesday. The Tyner point guard did some passing and he did some fouling. But with the game on the line, he did what was needed.
Spence hit a driving layup with 1.4 seconds remaining, giving the Rams a 60-58 victory over the Owls at Tyner.
The Rams (14-6) had watched a 16-point halftime lead evaporate in the second half. They scored only four points in the third quarter, and when Ben Snider hit a pair of free throws with 1:04 remaining, the game was tied.
Andrew Ware then stole an errant pass, but Snider was called for a charge with 31.4 seconds remaining, setting up Spence's shot.
"I had to do what I had to do to help the team win," Spence, who finished with 13 points, eight assists and three steals, said. "We were trying to run a play and it wasn't open, so I just got in there and made the shot to help my team get the victory.
"Lately, we've been pumped up in practice and playing as a team, and it's helping us get wins."
Ooltewah coach Jesse Nayadley said before the game that he would go "deep into his bench" if he had to, after dropping a game against Cleveland the night before. By halftime, he had played 10 players, but his team was behind 38-22 after the Rams went on a 17-2 run during the second quarter.
Nayadley challenged his team in the second half, and they responded. Jackson had all five of his assists in the third and fourth quarters, and Ware added six rebounds. Ben Snider scored 17 of his game-high 23 points, and the Owls (14-6) went on an 18-4 run to trim the deficit to two with 6:22 remaining.
Tyner never lost the lead, but it never grew to more than six points the rest of the way.
"In the first half, we probably shot 65 to 70 percent from the field," Tyner coach Gerald Harris said. "I knew at halftime that they would bring the fight back to us, and I told my guys they'd have to handle the run.
"We got a two-point win, though; I'll take that any day of the week."
Bristen Bridgeman led the Rams with 19 points, adding seven rebounds, while Alex Watkins had 11 first-half rebounds. Jackson added 13 points to his assist total, while Ware finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
"We challenged them at the half, and told them that either they stay in front of the ball or they're coming out," Nayadley said. "We got down in the first half because we weren't guarding.
"I told the guys after the game that there's just a week left. Maybe tonight was the light that turns it on for us."