Triad battles CM into overtime
Triad got the best of Mississippi Valley Conference rival Civic Memorial three times during the regular season, but couldn’t put the Eagles away with the season on the line.
Civic Memorial closed a seven-point fourth quarter deficit to tie the Knights in regulation, then won in overtime, 51-48, to advance to the finals of the Class 3A Regional.
“It’s tough to beat a good team once, so to beat them three times in the regular season was something else,” said first-year Triad coach Josh Hunt. “We knew it would be a battle tonight because all three games before this one were a dog fight.
“To beat a really good team four times, especially on their home floor, is tough sledding.”
Civic Memorial (22-9) will be back on its home court for a championship game against Central High School at 7 p.m. Friday.
Civic Memorial shot just 20 percent from the field in the first half and 30.9 percent for the game. But 6-foot-2 junior Jaquan Adams scored 14 of his game-high 16 points after the 5:48 mark of the third quarter.
“Sometimes we don’t shoot very well and we haven’t shot well against those guys for four games,” said CM coach Doug Carey, whose team lost its first three games against Triad by a total of five points. “That’s got to have something to do with the way they play defense.”
Adams also blocked a shot under the goal by Jaden Deatherage that would have been the game winner for Triad with 3.5 seconds left in regulation.
“Jaquan wasn’t very active in the first half and I don’t know what the deal was with that, but he did come up big in the fourth quarter and made some huge plays for us,” Carey said.
Triad’s season ends at 19-10. Senior guard Noah Moss became in Knights’ all-time leader in assists Wednesday. He entered the game third all-time in scoring.
Triad trailed at halftime, 17-15, but built a seven-point lead with a 10-2 run between the third and fourth quarters. Jake O’Dell scored five points and Moss drained a 3-point basket during the rally.
But Adams hit a pair of jumpers near the free throw line and Jaxsen Helmkamp drained a 3-pointer to tie the game, 37-37 with 2:15 left.
The Knights, who shot 32.5 percent in the game, landed just one of nine field goal attempts in the fourth quarter and missed their last eight shots of regulation.
Moss closed a five point deficit in overtime with a steal and layup under the Civic Memorial goal and a clutch three-point basket.
But Geoffrey Withers with a three-point play to put the Eagles on top. Civic Memorial closed a perfect night at the free throw line on its last six attempts.
Down by three with a half-second left, Moss drew a foul on a 30-foot 3-point attempt, but officials ruled the shot was after the whistle. Moss missed both free throws.
“He might have gotten the that shot off, but we can’t look back at that as the reason we lost the game,” Hunt said. “Civic Memorial made more plays than we did down the stretch. They earned a great win.”
Moss finished with 15 points and O’Dell added nine for Triad.
Besides Adams, Helmkamp and David Lane reached double figures with 13 and 10 points respectively.