Meadowview Christian’s Ben Smyly catches a pass as Morgan Academy’s Alston Ivey attempts to knock the ball out of his hands in Saturday’s game at Meadowview Christian.--Daniel Evans
Meadowview Christian’s Ben Smyly catches a pass as Morgan Academy’s Alston Ivey attempts to knock the ball out of his hands in Saturday’s game at Meadowview Christian.-- Daniel Evans

Morgan rallies past Meadowview in wild finish

Published 11:13pm Saturday, January 4, 2014

Morgan Academy rallied past Meadowview Christian and then held off a late Trojans rally for a 57-55 win Saturday afternoon.

The Senators saw a late six-point lead disappear, but fought back to take the lead due to free throws by Connor Henderson and Ford Manderson. Meadowview still had a chance to win the game, but C. J. Grimes three-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out.

“It was good for us to be in a close game and come out on top,” Morgan head coach Bob Taylor said. “We’ve been in some close games and not come out on top so it is good for us to get a win in a very active ballgame where we had to battle and do what we had to do. “

The Trojans were in the bonus most of the fourth quarter and took advantage, making 11 of 15 free throws.

Meadowview was unable to capitalize on their free throw attempts, making just 1-for-7 in the final quarter.

“That was the difference in the game, making free throws. People fail to realize sometimes that one point makes a difference but it makes a big difference,” Meadowview head coach James Murphy said.

Trailing 52-46 with under three minutes to play, the Trojans rallied. Clayton Thorton and Castella Hayes knocked down back to back threes to tie the game 52-52 with 1:43 left to play.

Henderson scored the next three points for the Senators before Hayes answered with a layup while being fouled to make the score 55-54 Morgan. Hayes missed the free throw and Meadowview fouled Morgan’s Manderson, who made one free throw and made the score 56-54 Senators.

Hayes was fouled on a drive on the ensuing possession, but made only one of two free throw attempts to make the score 56-55 Morgan. Harrison Adams made a free throw with 17.1 seconds left to give the Senators a 57-55 lead and Hayes was fouled on a layup with 5.4 seconds left.

After Hayes missed both attempts, Morgan’s Dalton Lee was fouled with 5.2 seconds to play. Lee missed both attempts and Grimes had a great look at a game-winning three-pointer, but it rimmed out and the Senators held on.

“We hit some big free throws down the stretch,” Taylor said. “I’d like to have those last two [free throws] go in at the end but that is all part of it. I’m proud of the way the kids played. They played hard. We got after it after we got down eight or ten or whatever it was.”

Murphy wasn’t upset with his team after the loss, because he understand how tough rivalry games can be sometimes.

“The guys played hard and I think the fans enjoyed it a lot,” Murphy said. “With it being a rivalry game and it coming down to one shot at the end of the buzzer you can’t do anything but enjoy it.”

Grimes led the Trojans with 20 points and Hayes added 17. Manderson led the Senators with 22 points.

In the third quarter, Morgan trailed 36-27, but a 15-6 run to end the quarter gave the Senators the lead. The Senators never trailed again.

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