Nar­row vic­tory helps Gor­don Lee com­plete sweep of Mt. Zion

The Catoosa County News - - SPORTS - By Scott Herpst [email protected]

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 this past 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 dou- ble 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 to 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.

/ Scott Herpst

Jake Poin­dex­ter looks to get around a Mt. Zion de­fender dur­ing Fri­day’s Re­gion 6-A North con­test. The Tro­jans hung on for a 61-59 win over the Ea­gles.

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