The Southwest Trojans defeated Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School on Tuesday, Feb. 14, earning a 59-47 win over the Cavaliers.
TJ's Alex Oserowsky scored 26 points in a valiant effort, while Tyler Ferguson led Southwest with his 20-point performance that included four treys. The victory inched the Trojans closer to a 20-win season, improving their overall record to 18-4 and conference record to 8-1 with three Ozark 7 games remaining.
The Trojans, ranked #8 in Class 3 in the most recent Missouri polls, ran to an early 8-0 lead as Jordan Epling buried a trey from the left wing. The Cavaliers weathered the storm and fought back to trail by only 12-9 with Oserowsky pouring in 6 points.
But Southwest exploded with an 8-2 run in the final 1:39 of the period. Epling and Ferguson both nailed treys in the final half minute, and the Trojans held a 20-11 lead at the first break.
In the second period, the Cavaliers gained the upper hand. Justin Brown, just two inches shy of seven feet in height, blocked shots and intimidated the Trojans in the lane. Tyler Thurman's trey at the 2:45 mark completed the TJ comeback and gave the Cavaliers a 27-26 lead.
Skylar Knoll measured Brown in the lane and scored with a right-handed hook to put the Trojans back in front. Then Ferguson lasered a pass to Knoll for a layup and a foul as the buzzer sounded. Knoll's true free throw gave Southwest a 31-29 halftime lead.
The third quarter saw Ferguson drill a pair of three-pointers in the opening three minutes as an 8-2 run gave Southwest a 39-31 advantage. Knoll ducked under Brown's condor-like wingspan and banged home a layup, and then Ferguson went coast-to-coast with a steal to put the Trojans ahead, 47-35.
Southwest's Travis Hayworth ran the clock down in the final minute, then found James Pettit with a perfect lob for a buzzer-beater layup that created the 50-37 score at the final break.
The Trojans held 16-point leads twice in the final period while running their ball-control offense, and the clock ran out on a 59-47 Southwest victory.
Southwest scorers: Tyler Ferguson, 20; Skylar Knoll and Jordan Epling, 13 each; James Pettit, 7; Travis Hayworth, 5; and Jeff Elkins, 1.
TJ scorers: Alex Oserowsky, 26; Tyler Thurman, 9; Jake Hockman, 6; and Justin Brown, 6.