Updated: Jan 26
Both games ended on buzzer-beating attempts by the opposition. One fell short, and the other swished through the net to give both games an exciting finish. Trinity Christian Academy's junior varsity Conquerors came up victorious by a single point, but Cornerstone Christian's varsity hit the three that gave the Cougars the one-point win in overtime.
JV: Conquerors 55, Cornerstone 54
Tomarion McCray topped 20 points for the second consecutive game as he dropped 29 in Thursday's seesaw affair. McCray especially came alive in the second quarter when he scored 11, including 3 for 3 at the line, to help give Trinity a slim one-point lead (29-28) at the half. He then got 8 in the third and hit two more clutch free throws down the stretch as the Conquerors held off Cornerstone's last-ditch effort.
Neither team led by more than five points at any time. For the most part, teams traded leads all night long. Cornerstone led 17-16 after one period, and the Conquerors took the slim lead just before the halftime buzzer. Cornerstone then led 45-43 after three, and the Conquerors outscored the Cougars 12-9 in the fourth.
Cornerstone took advantage of missed free throws and rebounds to surge down the court just before the final buzzer. After a timeout, the Cougars inbounded underneath their own goal with 1.7 seconds left. Mr. Domarian took the inbound pass and took the lay-up. The ball hit inside the rim and bounced out as the final buzzer sounded.
Trinity's Jacqary Sineus scored 12 points with six of them in the first quarter. Josh Robinson had a season-high 10 points and was clutch in the second half, scoring eight, and R.J. Albury's four points proved vital. The remaining players added defense and rebounding in addition to finding the open man in a textbook team-oriented performance.
Varsity: Cornerstone 45, Conquerors 44
Cornerstone's Jamel Tanks nailed a near half-court buzzer-beating three pointer from the sideline to propel the Cougars to the one-point win. With 1.4 seconds on the clock following a timeout, Tanks took the inbound pass at mid-court, dribbled once, and fired. This shot came after Trinity's Travis King tapped in a second-chance shot to give the Conquerors a 44-42 lead with 9.9 seconds remaining. Trinity's King and Cornerstone's Jafari Kendrick traded baskets earlier in the extra period.
Trinity gradually and methodically chipped away at a 14-point deficit after one quarter that saw Cornerstone surge to a 18-4 lead. Trinity outscored the Cougars 14-8 in the second and 11-7 in each of the final two quarters. That 22-14 margin in the second half forced a tie at 40-all and the extra frame. Donavon Paris's three-pointer and Xavier Cobb's free throw in the final moments competed the comeback.
King led the Conquerors with 14 points on a pair of threes and four deuces, one of them in overtime. Cobb was next with 8, and Miles Brooks scored 7. Cobb sank six free throws to help Trinity come from behind. Paris and Fred Highsmith each finished with 5, Colton Warren had 3, and Evan Wilson contributed 2.
Tanks and Kendrick tied for the Cornerstone high with 12 total points. Tanks hit a pair of threes in the Cougars' big first quarter in addition to his game winner, and Kendrick spread his six field goals evenly throughout the game.
The two schools will meet again at Cornerstone Christian for a JV/Varsity double-header on Thursday. February 6. The action will begin at 5:30 p.m. All coaches on both sides look forward to another exciting night of basketball.
First, though, the JV and varsity Conquerors will visit Englewood High School beginning at 5:30 on Friday. January 24.