November 23, 2017

Middle Braves Ice Purple Devils in Baskets

[gpslideshow]Clearly this would be a pivotal week for both middle school basketball teams this week as they looked to improve tournament seedings in the upcoming playoffs.

More importantly they would face a visit to one big rival in the Bremen Blue Devils Tuesday and then a return home tonight to face the perhaps even bigger rival the Bowdon Red Devils.

All four games would turn out to be highly contested affairs with very exciting finishes and all four turned out to be huge wins for the Braves.

The regular season for HCMS will finish up next week before the championship tournament which will take place at Villa Rica Middle School Jan. 31-Feb. 3.

Next Tuesday, Jan. 24, a ceremony for the 8th graders will precede the games.

 

HCMS Braves 38, Bowdon Red Devils 37

A large and raucous crowd of fans packed into the middle school gym for this exciting match-up and they did not leave disappointed as the Braves came out on top 38-37 on a Drew Blair 3-point play with just 7.1 seconds left on the game clock.

The teams both battled back and forth for the entire game with the largest lead being an early five point lead by the Braves at 14-9 ending the first quarter. The Braves spread the scoring around while the Devils relied mostly on C.J. Brewer who finished with 18 points.

The Braves were led by Lashon Echols with 11 points, Blair with 10, and Austin Barron with 7. An Echols 3-pointer with just 3:02 to play in the game cut a four point Devil advantage to just one.

After the teams exchanged buckets Collin Nutt tied the game at 35-35 with 39.1 seconds to play but a Bowdon basket put the Devils back up by two with under 10 seconds remaining.

On the final Braves offensive possession and trailing by two points Blair grabbed a rebound and made a basket while being fouled so the game was tied as he stepped to the line with 7.1 to play.

Drew Blair Shot Keys Win for HCMS from HeardCitizen.com on Vimeo.

The Devils called a time-out to try and ice Blair but he very calmly sank the free throw to complete the 3-point play.

After a defensive stand on the Devil final possession by the Braves the large crowd erupted in celebration. “We’ve tried to challenge our 8th graders to get better the last two games and they have come through in the clutch. We have tried to emphasize and focus on the little things like free throws and lay-ups. We were very pleased to get this win,” said Coach Sikes after the game.

HCMS Lady Braves 23, Bowdon Red Devils 16

The middle school girls were looking to avenge an early season two point loss to the Red Devilettes. They achieved this with a close defensive struggle that was not as lop-sided as the score would indicate. In fact, with 1:30 to play it was a only one point Brave lead.

Neither team could get on track offensively from the outset and the Lady Braves held a slim 7-05 advantage at the end of the first quarter. The girls dominated defensively in the second quarter to take an 11-6 lead to the locker room at halftime.

Made free throws by Alyssa Cosper and Jordan Watson were the key down the stretch. Hannah Stephens was the top scorer with six points.

Erica Emory added five and Watson four points in addition to several rebounds. “We’ve been working really hard but we still have more work to do to prepare for the tournament. Our team has felt more like family this year,” stated Stephens after the game.

Coach Kathy Scott and her girls have the inside track to the #1 playoff seed headed to the final week of the regular season.

HCMS Braves 52, Bremen Blue Devils 49

The Braves traveled to Bremen Tuesday and returned home with a hard-fought 52-49 win over the Blue Devils. “This was the first game all year where we played well all four quarters,” Coach Sikes said of the close victory.

Lashon Echols lit up the scoreboard with 19 points  and Austin Barron also finished in double figures with 12. Drew Blair added 8 points and Collin Nutt 6 points.

Quay Daniel, Carl Lipford,  and Carlton White led the way defensively especially late in the game as they each grabbed big rebounds.

The win avenged an earlier 50-45 loss to the Blue Devils at home. Coach Sikes and his squad could go into the tourney as high as a #2 seed depending on next week’s outcomes.

HCMS Lady Braves 34, Bremen Blue Devils 33

Another exciting finish Tuesday night saw the Braves snag the one point win when Kamaiya Brewer sank two free throws with under a minute to play to eek out the 34-33 win.

The Devils had a chance to tie or take the lead but missed two free throws in the closing moments of action. The game was close throughout with neither team able to gain any advantage.

These teams could likely meet again in the tournament. Brewer once again led the scoring with 12 followed by Jordan Watson with 9 points and Hannah Stephens with 6 points. (Photo by Kristen Sumner)

 

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