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DECATUR (GA) – In opening season showcases, the viewing public hopes to be entertained by some of the best teams and players in the area. Blowouts are going to happen but controversy is never welcomed along with questionable officiating which sits at the root of controversy.
The matchup between Tucker and North Florida Educational Institute at Southwest DeKalb High during the SWD Showdown on November 9 didn’t have a controversial outcome but the amount of times the whistles were blown and the number of free throws taken disrupted the flow of the game, and some impressive individual performances.
After both teams combined to shoot 69 foul shots, the Tigers left the court with a 55-48 win over the Eagles, thanks to 16 points from Terrance Edwards, who played in his first official game for Tucker, and 13 apiece from Jermontae Hill and David Giddens.
Edwards didn’t show any signs of not playing high school basketball last season, scoring nine points in the first quarter on smooth pull-up jumpers and a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer. Edwards also shot 7-of-8 overall from the free-throw line.
Hill wasn’t as accurate as his teammate from the stripe, sinking just 5-of-13 attempts from the line but he did grab eight rebounds while nailing a decent amount of pull-up jumpers as well.
For NFEI, DeAngelo Elisee made an impact on both ends of the floor, competing with a mindset that all shots in the lane will be contested. The 6-8 senior finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 11 blocks while also proving he could nail free-throw line jumpshots and make good passes.
Devin Ross led the Eagles with 15 points, including a 7-of-12 showing from the line, and Xavier Fearon added 11 points.
After a closely contested first half, Tucker created the largest amount of separation in the game with an 11-0 run during the opening three minutes of the third quarter for a 35-25 advantage. Giddens and Dylan Pritchett both had a pair of baskets during the game-changing run.
While trips to the line continued for both teams, the Eagles kept the margin to single digits but never moved close enough to tie or take the lead again.
Overall, the Tigers shot 22-of-41 from the free-throw line and the Eagles finished 15-of-28 from the line. NFEI coach Stacey Poole, Jr. and Tucker coach James Hartry both received technical fouls as well.