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FCS escapes Hartsville on McKnight 3
Feb 04, 2007 12:00 am
HARTSVILLE — Friendship Christian's boys won a game playing Trousdale County's pace Thursday night – barely.
Garrett McKnight's three-pointer with 1.5 seconds left lifted the Commanders, who trailed by six early in the fourth quarter, to a 50-47 victory.
It was a game which saw Trousdale County set the tempo with a patient offense and a defense which kept Friendship from finding easy shots. Both teams shot over 50 percent from the floor, but neither attempted more than 39 shots.
"Give them a lot of credit, they did a good job as far as scouting us up," Friendship coach Matt Bradshaw said after his Commanders escaped with a 16-5 season record and 8-1 in District 8-A. "They did a good job of executing their game plan. They knew where the weak spots were in our man-to-man traps that we had going, fullcourt and halfcourt. We had to line up and play man-to-man with them in the third quarter. I don't know what their percentage was in the third quarter [when Trousdale County came from down 25-22 to up 41-35], but it was a pretty good percentage.
"[We] got down, but [I] never lost faith in my guys. Just didn't do a very good job of putting the ball in the basket until about five minutes left in the fourth quarter, we finally decided to wake up and play a little bit."
Trailing 43-37 with less than seven minutes left, Friendship scored eight straight points with six coming on a pair of three-pointers by McKnight, who finished with four triples and 24 points, to put the Commanders up 45-43 with 3:25 left.
Playing patiently, the teams traded baskets until Brennan Thurman's driving layup pulled Trousdale into a 47-47 tie with two minutes left.
Friendship essentially held the ball until McKnight, who traded in his No. 5 jersey for No. 24, knifed in the winning triple from 21 feet out as time ran out. Saying Trousdale County got a timeout before the buzzer sounded, officials put 1.5 seconds on the clock. But John Doak intercepted the long inbounds pass to seal the deal.
"[Garrett] does a lot of things behind the scenes that don't get in the stat books as far as being a leader on the floor," Bradshaw said. "He talks on the floor and he did a fantastic job. He ran the play right that we called in the huddle."
Friendship could never shake Trousdale County as guard John Hatcher picked up three quick fouls in the first half. He picked up No. 4 in the first nine seconds of the second half and fouled out just over a minute in the fourth, giving Ryan Williams the two free throws which gave the Jackets their final six-point lead.
"Losing Hatch to foul trouble was just an obstacle we needed to learn how to play with," Bradshaw said. "It was a good opportunity for us.
"[Freshman] Lee Maasen came in and did a heck of a job, giving us some big minutes."
Friendship led 11-6 early before Williams, who tossed in 23 points to lead Trousdale, hit both of his three-pointers to end the first quarter and buzz the Yellow Jackets in front 12-11.
The second quarter was full of ties and lead changes until McKnight's runner in the lane put the Commanders in front by one and his buzzer-beating 18-footer from the key lifted them to a three-point lead at the break.
Williams notched nine third-period points as Trousdale County took the lead and momentum. After the Jackets held the ball for the final minute, Craig Brown buried a three from the corner for the 41-35 lead going into the fourth.
Michael Teeter, the object of a double team in the post out of Trousdale's zone, finished with 14 points while Maasen added eight off the bench and Hatcher and John Doak two each.
Trousdale dropped to 7-14, 4-6.
Thursday's game was the first of a grueling run of three in less than three days and five in six days. The Commanders will travel to East Nashville tonight to take on East Literature before going to Portland for a Saturday matinee. They will host Westmoreland and Mt. Juliet Christian at the Sportsplex early next week.
Thousand-point club correction: Wednesday's Democrat reported Teeter became the third Friendship boy to score 1,000 points. Watertown sports historian Ken Fountain notified the newspaper Wednesday the FCS senior is actually the seventh, which Bradshaw confirmed Thursday.
Current Cumberland University baseball senior Adam Tomlinson holds the FCS boys record with 1,734 points set in 1999-2003, according to Fountain's records. Chris Cardwell (86-90), twins David and Daniel Hoffman (93-97), Blu Fowler (87-91) and Jeff Redmon (82-86) also broke the barrier.
The newspaper apologizes and is happy to set the record straight.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.