January 23 -- The most exciting night on the court this season occurred Tuesday as the JV and varsity Conquerors each battled one of the top programs in the state of Florida and finished with two-point margins. Though cliché, all four teams involved "left it all on the court" and gave the fans a thrilling night of basketball. TCA's junior varsity Conquerors defeated University Christian 46-44 while the varsity game went to the visitors by a final score of 47-45.
VARSITY: UC 47, TCA 45
The varsity Conquerors (4-13, 0-2 in 4A-D2) nearly pulled off a major upset of Florida's Class 4A #3-ranked Fighting Christians (20-3, 2-1). Trinity came back from down nine points late in the third quarter and eventually took the lead in the fourth before University -- loaded with seven very talented seniors-- tied the score at 45-all and then hit two free throws to put up the final tally. Denzel Wiggins hit a free throw for the game's final point with four seconds left. The Conquerors inbounded and got to the front court, but UC's Joe Carter knocked the ball loose to prevent a possible game-winning shot.
The game was seesaw the entire way. Trinity fell behind by eight in the second but came back to make it a four-point deficit at 29-25 at the half. Trinity won the third quarter and took a 36-34 lead before needing a comeback effort in the fourth.
Jamaree Spikes scored 16 to lead the Conquerors, and Malik Myers followed with 13. Myers was 7 for 7 in free-throw shooting, and Spikes hit on 4 of 6 attempts. Each scored nine in the second half to help make the game very exciting. Jerry Ylluste totaled nine points while Miles Brooks contributed four, Xavier Cobb had a three-pointer, and Dominique Killens tallied two.
University's Michael Griffin tied Spikes with 16 points for the game-high total, and two Christians -- Wiggins and Carter -- each scored 11. Rasheed Newsome had six, and L.J. Hancock had four.
JV: TCA 46, UC 44
In the JV game, Trinity's Travis King and UC's Justice Jones each score 18 points to lead the way. King had 10 in the fourth quarter and 15 total second-half points while Jones had nine in each half. King's clutch free-throw shooting in the game's final two minutes became the margin of victory for the Conquerors.
L.J. Kelly had a three-pointer in Trinity's second-quarter surge that turned an eight-point deficit into a 30-30 tie at halftime. Kelly totaled seven points overall, and teammate Niles Johnson finished with eight. Evan Wilson scored five, Tomarian McCray had four, and R.J. Albury and Caden Morrell each had two. Every point counted as the Conquerors won by two.
UC's Royce Morris finished with 11. Bryce Purcell scored 5, Alvonte Toliver had 4, and Marcus Smithie and Dante Black each had 3.
The Conquerors will next face West Nassau in a JV/Varsity double-header in Callahan on Saturday, January 26. A double home game with Bishop Kenny follows on January 28 before Trinity travels to Providence on January 29.
--Raymond Bureau, TCA Conquerors Athletics