Trojans survive late rally to defeat Cahawba ChristianPublished 12:09am Saturday, December 28, 2013
Meadowview Christian survived a bizarre finish to defeat Cahawba Christian 61-58 in the Trojans’ opening game of the Morgan Pepsi Classic.
After watching his team’s lead dissipate for most of the fourth quarter, Trojans head coach James Murphy was glad to see his team come out on top.
“The guys just stayed focused. A lot of this was I wanted them to learn on the fly and I wanted them to get comfortable playing man defense,” Murphy said. “A lot of times if something is not working and you take kids away from it, it discourages them. I wanted them to stay in it and dig down deep and pull it out themselves.”
Therefore, it was only fitting that that the game would come down to the Trojans defense having to make a stop.
With a few seconds remaining and Meadowview leading 61-56, the Trojans came up with a steal leading to a wide open C. J. Grimes dunk attempt. When Grimes dunk missed, he hung on the rim and was called for a technical foul, which sent Cahawwba Christian’s Andrew Cutts to the free throw line.
Cutts made both free throws and the officials put 2.5 seconds on the clock and awarded the Chargers the ball due to the technical foul, which gave Cahawba a chance to tie the game.
But a last second shot attempt by the Chargers fell short and Meadowview was left with a hard-earned victory.
“We had too many mistakes on our side,” Cahawba Christian head coach Mike Adams said. “We missed easy shots.”
Knowing the Trojans love to drive the basketball, Adams wanted to make Meadowview’s guards Carstella Hayes and C. J. Grimes shoot jumpshots or pass the ball to someone else.
“We tried to take away the drive and do a little more trapping but we kind of got out of sorts and got in foul trouble with the big guy down low,” Adams said.
With the lead in the fourth quarter, the Trojans appeared to be in great shape until Cahawba’s Andreus Cutts started making basket after basket to keep the Chargers in it.
Cutts made a jumper to pull the Chargers within 57-53 and then followed it up with a three-pointer on Cahawba’s next possession to make the score 57-56 with under a minute left to play.
Murphy said it was actually fun to watch an opposing player get hot for a stretch like Cutts did.
“It is frustrating as you coach but you want to see the other team play well so far,” Murphy said. “It is impressive to see a kid shoot like that.”
Hayes answered Cutts’ baskets with a driving layup to give Meadowview a 59-56 advantage and then Cutts missed — a rare sight in the fourth quarter — but the rebound attempt went off the Trojans.
The reulting Cahawba possession ended in another missed shot and Dakota Sanders went to the free throw line and sank two attempts to give Meadowview a 61-56 lead.
After the finish that ensued, Meadowview held on to win.
Cutts led Cahawba with 15 points, but 12 of his points came in the final period. Grimes led the Trojans with 27 points and Hayes scored 19.
The Trojans play at 1 p.m. Saturday against Bessemer Academy.