Ellwood falls in area tournamentPublished 12:59am Saturday, February 9, 2013
ORRVILLE — After overcoming a halftime deficit, the Ellwood Christian Academy Eagles lost their lead late, as they fell 43-34 to the Autaugaville Eagles on Friday, ending their season in the Class 1A Area 5 tournament.
Steven Hendrieth, head boys basketball coach of Ellwood (9-15), said his team went cold shooting the basketball late, but never stopped fighting.
“Somebody put a lid over the basket. That’s all I could come up with because there were a couple of key free throws we missed,” Hendrieth said. “Turnovers killed us. Our guys fought hard, though. They didn’t give up.”
Ellwood trailed 16-8 at the half, but outscored Autaugaville 13-9 in the third quarter to go into the fourth trailing only 25-21.
Ellwood got it going early in the fourth, as Amari Spencer scored under the basket and Jalen Furlow added a three-point play that gave them a 26-25 lead with 7:35 left to play.
Ellwood extended its lead to 28-25 on a mid-range jumper by Spencer with 7:10 left.
Autaugaville pulled closer, as Dillon Howard added a free throw to make it 28-26, but Leon Sanders hit a pair of free throws and Spencer scored in the paint to push Ellwood’s lead to 32-26 with 6:04 left.
But Autaugaville seized the momentum, as a layup by Davonte Wells sparked a run that also included a pair of baskets by Howard, which tied the game at 32-32 with 4:37 left.
Wells added another shot and Howard hit two free throws and a 3-pointer to push Autaugaville’s lead to 39-32 with 2:22 left.
Spencer stopped the run with a basket in the paint, but Autaugaville scored the final two baskets of the game to close out Ellwood.
Wells led Autuagaville with 15 points, while Xazier Robinson and Howard both had 10 points each.
Spencer led Ellwood with 9 points, while Michael Smith and Bennett Harris each had 7 points.
Autaugaville will play Keith in the finals.