By Vincent R. Crawford Sports Editor
Class 3A Central Region rivals Globe (19-10) and the Coolidge Bears (13-14) met for the third time this season after both teams won on their respective home courts – Coolidge 83-76 (Jan. 18) and Globe 91-85 (Feb. 3) – but this time the third match-up had higher stakes as it happened in a state basketball tournament first-round playoff game, at Coolidge. After one period, it was apparent that the contest was once more going to be competitive throughout with possibly the first one to 100 hundred points the winner as No. 16th-seeded Coolidge led 28-24. By the time the competition had ended, No. 17 Globe was victorious, 95-90, as sophomore guard Robert Burries scored 42 points in the win. “The game was crazy,” said Burries, who set the state freshman single-game scoring record with his 68 points last year, against Florence. “It was a close game with both teams battling and our defense was key at the end. We just have to keep on fighting to see if we can get closer to the title.” The opening quarter featured five ties and three lead changes with the Bears enjoying their largest advantage, seven points, 39-32, in the second period before Globe ended the timeframe on a 13-2 run to lead 45-41 at halftime. With 3:11 left in the third period, Coolidge’s guard Tyler Steward (28 pts.; 10 rebs.) tied the game up at 54-54, but the Tigers outscored Globe 14-3 to go up 11 points, 68-57, and led 68-59 going in the final quarter. Two possessions into the fourth period, Globe had its biggest cushion of the competition, 72-59, but the Bears clawed back within one, 84-83, with 1:51 left to play on the scoring prowess of junior guard Jovann Thompson who scored 14 of his team-high 31 points in the last quarter despite missing two-minutes due to a leg injury. Seven seconds after Coolidge’s guard Reyes Hernandez’ basket, Burries scored on a lay-up to increase the Tigers’ lead back to three-points. Following a missed Bears’ field goal, Globe center Braden Dalton (17 pts.; 10 rebs.) made the score 88-83 and from that point on, the closet Coolidge got was within two points, 90-88, with thirty-seconds displayed on the clock. “It’s not the way we wanted our year to end, but we had a pretty good season,” said Thompson, who had two cramps in the last period. “We bounced back a lot from last year for being young, so, I’m proud of us. We are going to go hard in the spring and summer to be ready for next year.” Globe’s senior forward Samuel Jones finished the contest with seven rebounds, four blocks and two steals as Burries/Dalton combined to scored 21 of the Tigers’ fourth quarter 27 points. Coolidge won the last period, 31-27 as the Tigers owned the second (21-13) and third (23-18) quarters. After beating Coolidge, Globe lost their next playoff game to No. 1 Chandler Valley Christian, 66-47, at Tempe McClintock High.