BASKETBALL: Trojans’ narrow win completes sweep of Mt. Zion
Say this for the Gordon Lee Trojans. They sure know how to give fans their money’s worth.
Seven times in 14 games this season, Gordon Lee has been involved in a game decided by seven points or less, including two that went to overtime. That trend continued in Chickamauga on Friday as the Navy-and-White staved off a late fourth-quarter rally to beat visiting Mount Zion, 61-59, in a 6-A North game.
Mount Zion jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but the Trojans (6-8, 2-3) were able to run with the athletic Eagles, while solid passing led to easy baskets inside the paint once Gordon Lee settled into its half-court game.
The Trojans led 20-16 after the first quarter before holding the Eagles to just five points in the second as they went into the locker room with a 33-21 lead.
Gordon Lee was able to maintain the advantage in the third quarter, despite a bit of chippiness late in the period. Both teams were assessed technical fouls in the late stages of the quarter, but the Trojans were able to extend their advantage to 48-35 with just eight minutes remaining.
The margin would remain at double digits midway through the fourth quarter when Eagles’ guard Breon Henderson got hot. After being held scoreless for the first three quarters, Henderson scored 10 points in the final period to help his team come roaring back.
A three-point play by Kendrick Brownlow with 1:26 remaining sliced Gordon Lee’s advantage to 57-55 and the Eagles would force a turnover on Gordon Lee’s next possession. However, Iaan Cousin would miss a 3-pointer and Sam Norton would connect on 1-of-2 free throws to boost the Trojans’ lead back to three.
Brownlow would hit 1-of-2 free throws with 54 seconds to play, but Norton would go back to the line nine seconds later and drained two shots the bump the lead back to four. Henderson’s second and final 3-pointer of the game would bring the Eagles to within 60-59 with 31 seconds remaining before a free throw by Weston Beagles upped the lead back to two with 23 seconds to play.
The Eagles would look to Cousin on their ensuing possession, but his runner in the lane would come up short as Jake Poindexter grabbed a huge rebound and was able to get the ball to Justin Wooden before falling down to avoid a traveling call.
Wooden was fouled with 5.2 seconds left, but saw both free throws rim out, giving Mount Zion one final chance to win or tie the game. However, Tyriese Farley’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer would find nothing but air as the Trojans celebrated the narrow victory.
Wooden had 14 points, followed by Poindexter with 12 and Norton with 10 in a balanced scoring effort for the home team. Robert Napier had eight points, as did Wiley Heming, who scored all eight of his points in the first quarter.
Brownlow and Cousin would both score 14 for the Eagles.
In the night’s first game, the Lady Trojans kicked off 2019 in style with a 52-31 victory.
Gracie O’Neal scored all eight points for Gordon Lee in the first quarter as the Lady Trojans got out to a 17-9 lead at halftime.
The Lady Trojans (4-11, 2-3) would pick up their offense in the second half while continuing to play solid defense. They finished the game by holding the Lady Eagles to just nine total field goals on the night.
O’Neal finished with a game-high 21 points. Emma McGraw added 10 points, while Emma Langston and Ashlyn Schmidt had five points apiece.