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Commander comeback falls short
Dec 28, 2006 12:00 am
Friendship Christian's boys looked to be dead in the water when Eagleville led by 16 points late in the third quarter Thursday night.
But the Commanders shot their way off the canvas to make a game of it before running out of time 55-52 at the Bay Family Sportsplex.
Eagleville used an 18-4 run to turn a 28-26 edge early in the third to a 46-30 margin late as Aaron Aldaffer dropped in eight of his 12 points for the Eagles.
But Michael Teeter, who led all scorers with 16, converted an old-fashioned three-point play and a three-point basket to ignite a 22-7 Commander comeback which saw the hosts climb within 53-52 on a Garrett McKnight free throw with 50 seconds to play.
But guard Jimbo Porter tossed in two free throws and the Eagles escaped with their seventh win in eight starts.
"They fought back hard tonight," Friendship coach Matt Bradshaw said of his Commanders, who fell to 4-2. "Give them a ton of credit. They could have packed it in."
Friendship led 16-10 early in the second quarter before the Commanders went cold and Eagleville got hot. Zach Randolph tossed in 12 of his 15 points, including all three of his 3-pointers, in the second quarter as the Eagles soared to a 26-20 lead late in the period. Back-to-back baskets by John Doak, who finished with 14, brought the hosts within 26-24 by halftime.
Incredibly, Friendship lost despite dominating the boards 42-26. The Commanders collected 23 offensive rebounds, which gave them 63 shots to Eagleville's 43. But FCS made 22 field goals to the Eagles' 20 while the Green hit just 5 of 17 free throws.
It reminded Bradshaw of something former Mt. Juliet coach Ken Cutlip used to say.
"Made shots make a lot of mistakes go away," Bradshaw recalled Cutlip, now the coach at Science Hill, saying. "When you miss a lot of shots, mistakes pile up in a hurry.
"We quit hitting and they got on a roll."
As for the free throws, "You miss enough free throws to win a ballgame, there's no excuse for it.
"That's kind of tell-tale about how our game went all night."
John Hatcher had good energy for Friendship with 10 points while McKnight added eight and Adam Stephens and Lee Maasen two each.
Friendship will next travel to Jackson for the Jackson Christian Tournament next week. The Commanders will open with Harding Academy at 11:30 a.m. next Thursday. The tournament will run through Dec. 30.
Clemmons free throw lifts Wildcats
FT. PAYNE, Ala. — Freshman Teraes Clemmons flipped in a free throw with 1.3 seconds left Thursday to lift Wilson Central to a 61-60 win over Campbell (Ga.) in the first round of the Wills Valley Shootout.
The Wildcats led until falling behind with two minutes left. They quickly tied the score. Central gained possession with eight seconds left and got the ball to Clemmons, who drove to the hoop and was fouled.
"We just made some plays," said Central coach Troy Bond, whose 6-4 Wildcats face Alabama 3A top-ranked Abbeville (10-0) at noon today in the semifinals. "The game was extremely physical. They got after us. We had some foul trouble. The guys really fought hard."
Point guard Kelten Stewart tossed in 21 points, including three 3-pointers, and finished with five assists for Central while fellow guard JaJuan Brooks fired in 14. Center Travis Adkins scored seven before fouling out while Clemmons supplied six, Daniel Palmer five (with nine rebounds), Kody Woodard four and Arcavius McMurray and Ethan Duke two each.
Chris Hurt, Campbell's 6-5, 270-pound bruiser, muscled in 15 points wile guard Eric White tossed in 12 as the Trojans fell to 10-3.
Central led 14-10 following the first quarter, 28-19 at halftime and 48-36 through three periods.
Craig connects with Hill for go-ahead Bears basket
FRANKLIN — Mt. Juliet's first lead didn't come until Demond Craig hit Robert Hill on a backdoor cut with 24 seconds left to break a tie as the Golden Bears beat Franklin 54-52 Thursday night.
The Bears trailed 43-34 going into the fourth quarter before Craig, who finished with four assists at the point, notched nine of his 19 points in the final eight minutes.
"We've lost a few of these games this year," Mt. Juliet coach Troy Allen said after his Bears moved to 6-5 for the season. "We just started subbing offense and defense, made it a long game and started making some plays with our pressure and turned the game around."
Forward Jeremy Dixon finished with 15 points for Mt. Juliet while Jonta Bowman scored seven, Antuan Majors and Berek Lunn five each, Hill two and a foul-plagued Cory Payne a free throw.
Center Deontrey Siske tossed in 20 points for Franklin. Kevin Kegarise threw in two of his three triples in the third quarter as the Rebels widened a 27-26 halftime lead. The hosts were up 12-11 following the first period.
Mt. Juliet will face Glencliff at 3 p.m. Dec. 27 in the Father Ryan Tournament.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at email@example.com.