Last seconds enough time to gun down Charger duo
Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 12:03 pm
By RANDY CAVIN
Both Westview teams had the thrill of victory taken away from them in the closing seconds of their Lions Club Christmas Tournament championship games Thursday night.
The Westview girls fell to their old rival, Gibson County, in the girls’ finals 45-43. The Lady Pioneers hit the game-winner at the free throw line with 14.3 seconds to play.
In the boys’ title game, it was Henry County that came away the winner by a score of 60-59 on a baseline buzzer-beater.
The Lady Chargers are now 10-5 on the season and will get an immediate rematch with the Lady Pioneers (10-5) tonight at 6 as district play resumes. The Chargers fall to 11-4 after the loss to the Pioneers and will play the Pioneers tonight following the girls’ game.
GC 45, Westview 43 (G)
The Lady Chargers saw a nine-point lead flipped to a one-point advantage for the Lady Pioneers in the third quarter and witnessed tournament MVP Courtney Haynes sink two free throws with 14.3 seconds to play in the game.
Gibson County went on a 10-0 run in the third period to take a 31-30 after the Lady Chargers led by nine midway through the period. The Lady Pioneers stepped into the passing lanes and guarded well along the wings to get the transition baskets.
Westview also had problems keeping possession as several times players went out of bounds after catching the ball or the ball would deflect off of them.
“There are five or six possessions I can think of where we just didn’t catch the ball,” Lady Charger head coach Sean Stephenson said. “We would just catch it and go out of bounds or go off our knee. It’s unfortunate that we had so many unforced errors. They pressured us on the wing, which caused our passes to be a little wide. You have got to be able to make the entry pass to the offense to be able to get a shot at tying the game.”
In the fourth, the Lady Chargers tied the game four separate times but could never take the lead. The final time Westview tied was at the 1:09. Gibson County sank four free throws in the final 52 seconds of the game, however, to seal the win.
Kaley Leyhue had a game-high 17 points for Westview, and Teddy Vincent added 12. Jasmine Whittermore scored 14 for Gibson County while Haynes scored 10.
HC 60, Westview 59 (B)
In an epic battle where two evenly-matched teams traded leads 22 times, it was the Patriots who came away with a win on a game-winning shot at the buzzer.
Those in attendance got their money’s worth watching these two teams go at for 32 minutes in what is sure to go down as the best game of the 47th annual tournament.
The last minute alone was worth the price of admission as Westview and Henry County slugged it out. The Patriots went up by four on a pair of free throws with 50.3 on the clock, but then Antonio Hogard got the Chargers within a basket with 40.4 seconds to go. Another pair of free throws put the Pats up by four once again, only to see the Chargers come right back with a pair of freebies by Hogard.
HC lost the ball on the ensuing inbound pass, and then Hogard once again stepped up as he made an old fashioned 3-point play to give the Chargers a 58-57 lead with 24.8 seconds to play. The Patriots (7-7) had trouble inbounding the ball once again and lost possession as the pass went out of bounds.
Henry County got the ball right back, though, when Westview tried to make a long inbound pass that was intercepted. Shaquille Hayes made the front end of a pair of free throws to tie the game at 58-all with 15.7 seconds to play. Javier Gordon was fouled on the inbound pass and gave the Chargers a 59-58 lead with his front-end free throw.
“I didn’t draw up a sideline play to get the ball in, and that part is my fault,” Westview head coach J.B. Suiter said. “And, there were some miscommunications, so it’s just a learning lesson for me to work on the last 30 seconds of a game like that.”
Henry County got the ball across mid-court and called time-out with 3.9 seconds to play. Westview guarded the inbound pass well, but Blake Houston found himself open for a 15-foot jumper along the baseline.
Jazell Baker had a game-high 27 points for the Chargers followed by Chris Evans with 10 points.
Published in The WCP 1.3.12