Austin Grandstaff’s Torrid Second Half Sends Rockwall To Critical 68-61 Win Over Tyler Lee
TYLER -- In the biggest game to date for both Rockwall and Tyler Lee, it was Rockwall's sharp-shooting guard Austin Grandstaff that carried his team to victory.
Grandstaff, a 6-5 guard signed to Ohio State, dropped 41 points -- 32 in the second half -- to lead the Yellowjackets to a crucial 68-61 win over Tyler Lee in District 11-6A action Friday night.
The win pulled Rockwall (10-16, 5-6) even with the Red Raiders (15-9, 5-6) for fifth place in the district with three games remaining. Both teams are a game back of Rowlett for the fourth and final postseason spot from 11-6A.
Neither team shot the ball well from the field in the opening half, but an exciting third quarter that featured two ties and seven lead changes set the stage for the final period that was finished off nicely by Rockwall, which hit 13 of 14 free-throw attempts down the stretch to seal the win.
Granstaff, after being held to just three field goals and nine points in the game's first 16 minutes, began to light it up in the third quarter. He scored 13 points in the period, which included three 3-pointers, and had 19 points in the fourth. The star guard had three 3's and was 8-of-8 from the foul line in the quarter.
Cameron Schumucker added 11 points and six rebounds for Rockwall, while Daniel Smith had 10 points and six boards. Joseph Williams scored four points, and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds for the Yellowjackets, who were plus-11 on the boards.
Lee did its best in the second half to stay with the hot-shooting Grandstaff, knocking down five 3-pointers in the third, including John Davis' shot from long range at the buzzer that sent the Red Raiders in the fourth quarter with a 41-40 lead.
Jordan Berry led the Red Raiders with 21 points and nine rebounds. He had five of his team's nine 3's on the night, including four in the back-and-forth third quarter. Isjuwan Barker knocked down a trio of 3-pointers, finishing with 11 points to go with five assists and five steals.
Lee 6-8 forward Garrett Thibodeaux, an Air Force signee, had a solid all-around game with 19 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals, and three blocks.
The biggest difference in Friday's game came on the glass, as Rockwall outrebounded Lee, 35-24. The 'Jackets were also outstanding at the free-throw line, going 23-of-26, while the Red Raiders were a dreadful 6-for-14.
After a pedestrian first half for both teams, Rockwall and Tyler Lee brought the spirited crowd to its feet with an action-packed third quarter, which featured a combined nine 3-pointers.
Berry gave the Red Raiders a 23-21 lead right off the bat with a shot from long range, but Rockwall answered with a 6-0 run to go up 27-23 with 5:51 remaining. Lee followed with a 7-0 spurt, featuring another 3-pointer from Berry and layups underneath the basket from Tra Caldwell and Thibodeaux.
An 8-0 run by Rockwall, which featured two 3's and a pair of technical free throws by Grandstaff returned the lead to the Yellowjackets, 35-30, with 2:42 to go in the third. Not to be outdone, the Red Raiders scored the game's next eight points to vault in front, 38-30, getting two more 3's from Berry and a layup from Davis off a feed from Thibodeaux.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Grandstaff gave Rockwall a 40-38 advantage, but Berry's 3 as the buzzer sounded put Lee up by a point going into the fourth quarter.
The first few minutes of the final period were just like the third, back-and-forth. Barker's 3-point shot tied the game at 48-48 with 3:42 to play, but Grandstaff came right back and nailed a trey to give Rockwall a lead it would not relinquish over the game's last 3:22.
Grandstaff's seventh and final 3 of the night gave Rockwall a five-point advantage, but Lee got within two moments later when Barker came up with a steal and hit Thibodeaux in stride for a dunk, cutting the 'Jackets' lead to 54-52 with 2:24 to play.
From that point forward, Lee forced Rockwall to win the game at the free-throw line, which it did. The Yellowjackets salted the game away by going 12-of-12 at the line over the game's final 1:53. Grandstaff was responsible for the final eight free throws, all coming in the final minute.
Each team returns to action Tuesday night. Rockwall plays at Garland, while Lee travels to Garland Naaman Forest.
Rockwall 68, Tyler Lee 61
District 11-6A Boys Basketball
At Lee Varsity Gymnasium, Tyler
Rockwall 7 14 19 28 -- 68
Tyler Lee 7 13 21 20 -- 61
ROCKWALL (10-16, 5-6) -- Austin Grandstaff, 41; Cameron Schumucker, 11; Daniel Smith, 10; Joseph Williams, 4; Sheridan Bee, 2.
TYLER LEE (15-9, 5-6) -- Jordan Berry, 21; Garrett Thibodeaux, 19; Isjuwan Barker, 11; John Davis, 5; Tra Caldwell, 3; Rico Major, 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Rockwall: Grandstaff (7). Tyler Lee: Berry (5), Barker (3), Davis.