Eagles rally past Patriots
By Willie McLawhorn
LASKER – The varsity boys of Northeast were determined not to let the Patriots of Faith Christian sweep the night.
With a strong third quarter, the Eagles overcame a 10-point second quarter Patriot lead and then held on for an exciting 45-42 victory over the visiting Patriots.
Brandon Parker got the Patriots on the board first with a goal at the 7:29 mark. This was followed by a basket by the Eagles’ Davis Harrell. A basket by Clay Robbins gave Northeast a 4-2 lead at the 5:12 mark.
The Patriots then ran off six straight points on two baskets by Parker and one by Matt Early to take an 8-4 lead. Baskets by Robbins and Parker closed out the scoring of the first period with the Patriots holding a 10-6 lead.
The second quarter began with neither team able to get much going.
Finally, a basket by Parker followed by a basket by Brad Johnson of Northeast gave the Patriots a 12-8 lead with 5:47 left in the first half.
The Patriots then ran off six straight points on two baskets by Parker sandwiched around a basket by Aaron Lancaster to give the Patriots an 18-8 lead with one minute left in the half.
A basket by Northeast’s Will Glover cut the lead to 18-10 at the half.
The teams swapped baskets to begin the second half as Robbins and Trey Perry of Faith Christian scored.
Following a basket by the Eagles’ Johnson, Northeast switched to man-to-man defense forcing a turnover, followed by a three-point basket by James Pope cutting the Patriot lead to 20-17 with 4:19 to go in the third quarter.
A basket by the Patriots’ Lancaster was followed by a hoop from Glover as the Eagles continued to step up the defensive pressure.
A free throw by the Patriots’ Earley gave them a 23-19 lead with 3:12 left. Another three-pointer by Pope cut the Patriots lead to 23-22 at the 2:50 mark.
A basket by Perry gave the Patriots a three-point edge at 1:42, but a three by the Eagles’ Glover tied the game at 25 with 1:22 to go. Baskets by Parker and Perry gave the Patriots a 29-25 lead as the third quarter came to a close.
The fourth quarter began with Faith Christian seeking to slow things down. A basket by Perry increased the Patriots’ lead to 31-25.
But Northeast was not done.
An old-fashioned three-point play by Glover cut the lead in half at 31-28. Following a turnover, Robbins hit a free throw. This was followed by a steal and layup by Pope tying the game at 31.
The 8-0 run by the Eagles was finished by a Johnson goal giving the Eagles a 33-31 lead with five minutes left in the game.
The teams then swapped baskets with Christian Davis, and Parker scoring for the Patriots and Johnson and Robbins hitting buckets for the Eagles.
Following three missed free throws by the Patriots, two made free throws by the Eagles’ Glover increased their lead to 39-35 with 2:10 left in the game.
A basket by Earley cut the Eagles’ lead to 39-37 at the 1:51 mark. A field goal by Johnson, a free throw by Robbins and two free throws by Pope increased the Eagles lead to 44-37 with 28 seconds left.
A basket by Davis cut the lead to 44-39 with 14 seconds remaining.
Full court pressure by the Patriots led to a quick turnover and a three-point field goal by Davis brought the Patriots within two with nine seconds left on the clock.
Harrell hit 1-of-2 free throws giving the Eagles a 45-42 lead with six seconds left.
A final three point try by the Patriots’ Earley hit the rim and bounced away giving the Eagles’ fans an exciting finish to a good game.
The Eagles travel to Lawrence on Tuesday as they begin TIC play.
A strong third quarter powered the JV Patriots to a 28-23 victory over the JV Eagle boys. The Patriots were led by Mick Howard’s 12 points. Leading the Eagles was Ryan Williams with 10.