Prep Hoops: East boys fall inches short against North
Matt Jacobs had just about everything he wanted. The right guy taking the shot and the right guy on the other end in the event of a miss. What was missing is the ball going through the hoop.
It sure came agonizingly close.
Down one with two seconds left, Adam Davis hoisted up a 3-pointer after receiving the inbound pass. His attempt was off, but senior Taylor Booze was in position for a tip-in. The ball trickled across the front of the iron then grazed the back before falling to the floor as time expired. The end result was a 63-62 nonconference win for North Davidson over East Davidson Monday in a game that had been rescheduled twice.
“We could not ask for a better opportunity to win the game,” said EDHS coach Matt Jacobs. “We did everything right on that play. The ball just did not stay in.”
The girls game was setting up to have an exciting finish as well, but the Golden Eagles went scoreless over the final 2:30 and North hit all six of its free throws to turn a three-point game into a 61-52 victory. Lauren Ramsey paced the Black Knights with 15 points. East was led by Bayley Plummer’s 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Late in the third quarter, East’s boys were not thinking about a last-second shot. They were fighting to even stay in striking distance. North had just finished off a 7-0 run and led 50-34 with a 1:43 to play in the third. East shaved two off the gap at quarter’s end, but there was still a tall mountain to be scaled.
Hot shooting from deep has been a key ingredient to the Golden Eagles’ recent run of three straight wins in conference play, and it was the firepower from the outside that helped reel in the Black Knights.
A prolific bomber from the outside, Braxton Shetley tossed in a pair at the charity stripe to crank up a furious comeback. Consecutive trips produced six points as Matthew Johnson and Austin Miller connected on 3s. North picked up a steal and layup for its first points of the fourth quarter, only to have Davis hit another trey for the Golden Eagles and Booze post up for a layup that had all but three points of the once 14-point lead wiped out.
North extended the lead back out to seven, but the Eagles charged back and took a 62-61 lead with Booze crashing the offensive boards for a layup as the clock ticked down to 30 seconds.
Pressing got East back in it and they stuck with it after the Booze basket. It turned out to be a game-winning decision in favor of NDHS. Eli Moore escaped a triple-team and the ball eventually made its way to Chase Mitchell, who slipped behind the back line of the press for an uncontested layup.
“That was probably a mistake on my part,” said Jacobs. “The guys were so worked up and we had three guys trap the ball instead of two. The guy that got trapped did a great job of not losing control of the ball and he found his way out of that and it led to the layup. That was my bad for staying aggressive after taking the lead.”
But the game was not lost at that moment. Jacobs credited the win to the Black Knights doing what they were supposed to do in the first half and knocking down shots.
“The difference was we just didn’t make shots early and North shot the ball really well in the first half,” he said.
Booze ended up with 21 points while Johnson had 18. Brandon Easter scored 15 for North.
The last few outings have been puzzling for sure for an East girls team that was smoking the opposition earlier this season.
They came out flat again and were down 17-8 after one quarter. Down 13 in the second quarter, an 8-0 rally shared by Plummer and Jennifer Welborn cut the margin to five that held until halftime.
During the break East seemed to have found some enthusiasm. Madi Hallman and Lori Morgan splashed in 3s to give the Eagles the lead quickly. Sydney Bryan put together a pair of baskets to shift control back to NDHS, but East surged ahead by six after a 13-4 run.
Ivy Kiker regained the lead herself, hitting a 3-pointer with two other baskets to send North ahead once more. Ramsey’s 3-pointer helped the advantage reach four after three quarters.
North’s lead extended to eight, but the Eagles fought back and was only down 55-52 with 2:30 to go. After scoring nine points in three minutes, East could not score in the final crucial moments. The Black Knights hit six straight free throws for the final margin.
“We came out in the third and started playing well. We were under control and made some good passes, then we went right back into not being patient,” said East coach Don Corry.
Welborn added 14 points and Morgan had 11 in the loss.