Predators sneak past Trojans
NORTH AUGUSTA — Ridge Spring-Monetta High School gave the crowd a thrill in the final couple of minutes Tuesday evening, but ball control in the final five seconds helped seal the deal in Fox Creek’s favor, as the Predators held on for a 59-57 home win in Region 4-A boys basketball.
The Predators led for the entire game and held a 29-20 halftime lead, but the Trojans, led by Mike Jones’ 18-point game.
Fox Creek, led by Chris Harmon’s 29-point game, got a huge play from Brandon Gladney with about a minute left in the fourth quarter. He collected a steal and drove for a bucket, being fouled in the process.
He missed the resulting free throw, and teammate D.J. Curry missed another one a few seconds later.
Jones responded with a pair of successful free throws with 23 seconds left in the game, narrowing the gap to 59-57.
The Predators’ Brandyn Quiller, who had racked up three 3-point shots along the way, got the chance to nail down the win with five seconds remaining, but missed a free throw.
The rebound went to the Trojans’ Alonzo Smith, but he was unable to get a firm grip on the ball, and the final seconds disappeared in a scramble for possession.
Andre Baskett, Fox Creek’s coach, said that his team may have been a little off-balance, having played 13 straight road games in recent weeks. “We just lacked intensity tonight ... I’ll take a win, but we just lacked intensity on defense and we missed a lot of .. easy buckets, along with a lot of calls – not the refs’ fault. We had a lot of traveling calls and a lot of fouls. We put them in the bonus early.”
Mark Wright, the Trojans’ coach, said he told his players that defense would win the game or get his team back into the game. “It happened to get us back into the ball game. We just came up a little bit short.”