The Italy Gladiators advanced to the Regional Tournament with their 56 – 37 win over the Big Sandy Wildcats on Tuesday night. Italy fans traveled to Centerville to pack the gym and support the Gladiators. The Italy Cheerleaders keep the crowd fired up and loud.
Keith Davis II scored 7 points in the first quarter to put Italy on top 7-6. The Gladiator quick and pressing defense proved to be more than the Wildcats could handle.
In the second quarter the Gladiators continued their quick defense. Strong shooting from Davis, Kevin Johnson, Tylan Wallace and Christian Lightfoot gave Italy a 27-16 point lead at the half.
The Big Sandy offense outscored Italy 14 to 10 in the third to close the gap. When the period ended Italy was cut 37-30.
The final period proved the Gladiators would do what was needed to move them to the Regional Tournament. Italy’s offense and defense were just too much for Big Sandy. When the final buzzer sounded the Gladiators took the win 56-37.
“I am so proud of our team,” said Gladiator head coach David Ervin. “They played strong and stayed focused the whole game. They played well on both sides of the ball. They also displayed good sportsmanship tonight.”
The Gladiators will play the Tenaha Tigers in the Regional Semi-Finals on Friday, March 3rd at 7:30 in Jewett Leon.
Scoring for Italy:
Keith Davis II – 21,
Tylan Wallace – 12
Kevin Johnson – 10
Christian Lightfoot – 5
Jeremiah Thompson – 4
Kendrick Norwood – 4
Scoring for Big Sandy:
Samuel Richard – 14
Aaron Thompson – 9
Jackson Mayer – 4
Isaiah Thompson – 4
Cole Foster – 12
Britton Dickens – 3.