Glenn goes down fighting

Glenn goes down fighting
January 23
00:00 2015
(East’s Sherrod Wells drives to the basket.)(Photos by Charles E. Leftwich Jr.)

With four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, East Forsyth was up double digits over arch-rival Glenn in junior varsity basketball. At that juncture, it wasn’t a matter of whether the Eagles would win, but what their final margin of victory would be.

As things turned, the comfortable lead proved to be a mirage. The Bobcats staged a furious rally and caused some anxiety among the home crowd at East. But when the final buzzer sounded, it was the Eagles who prevailed in a 75-71 victory on Jan. 16.

Coach Rodney Minor

Coach Rodney Minor

“I’m proud of the way our guys fought to get this win,” said Coach Rodney Minor of East Forsyth. “We’ve gone through some tough times in getting on track. But recently, I’ve seen proof that this team is beginning to turn the corner. They’re learning how to play past bad stretches and still win.”
East Forsyth (9-4, 2-0 Piedmont Triad Conference) seemed to be in control after Sherrod Wells hit a pair of free throws to give his team a 64-52 cushion. Alanzo McCloud sparked a 16-5 run that helped Glenn to cut the Eagles lead to 69-68 with 50 seconds left to play.

The outcome over the final 50 seconds was determined at the foul line. East Forsyth converted 6-of-8 freebies. Glenn, in the meantime missed far too many opportunities as evidenced by its 2-of-6 free-throw shooting performance.

“I really liked how we kept battling back,” said Coach Clarence Hosch of Glenn. “We brought lots of energy and that’s very positive. But when you lose by four points and shoot 15-for-30 at the free-throw line, you don’t have to guess why your team lost the game.”

Glenn's Ryan Bussell makes a pass as Sherrod Wells applies pressure.

Glenn’s Ryan Bussell makes a pass as Sherrod Wells applies pressure.

The game’s momentum turned in the Eagles favor with 19.2 seconds to go. With East leading 71-69, Glenn’s Marcus Harris snatched an offensive rebound and took a follow-up shot that rolled slowly around the basket before rimming out. He was fouled on the play, but missed both free throws.

Connor Sparrow grabbed the missed foul shot and was fouled. He converted both free throws to push the Eagles lead to 74-69 with 14.7 seconds to go. Devin Higgins scored on a fast-break basket, and then added a free throw to close out the scoring for the home team.

Wells was the top East scorer with 15 points and Sparrow contributed 14 points. They got ample offensive assistance from five other teammates who scored six points or more.

“We gave them several different looks on defense,” said Minor. “But things began to change when we went to our 2-3 zone. That seemed to slow them down a little and they got stagnated. We have to get better at avoiding mental lapses when we defend. Our rebounding must improve too. If we can get to the point where all five players on the floor go to the glass, we’re going to be awfully tough to beat.”

For Glenn (9-4, 1-1), McCloud set the tone with a game-high 19 points. Harris and Josh Jenkins finished with 16 points apiece and T’Marko Chandler scored 11.

The Bobcats got off to a sluggish start and trailed 13-2 early in the first quarter. With the exception of the two instances when they pulled to within three points of the lead, they spent most of the night playing catch-up.

Coach Clarence Hosch directs his team.

Coach Clarence Hosch directs his team.

“The lesson here is that you have to play smart and play hard for every minute you’re on the floor,” said Hosch. “You just can’t turn it on and turn it off whenever you please. That’s especially true when you play good teams.”

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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