Tuesday, Dec. 04 2012 3:02PM
Final minute showdown
SCA clinches win in fourth quarter
By Stephanie Yeagle
It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that things really started clicking for Summit Christian Academy in the championship game of their own Eagle Invitational against O’Hara Dec. 1.
The Eagles had to fight to stay in the game until that point, but finally battled to a solid 52-45 victory.
“I think we played great as a team,” Summit Christian Academy junior forward Greg Nicoll said. “The coaches had a great game plan and we executed it.”
O’Hara led 12-10 at the end of the first quarter and kept ahead of the Eagles throughout the second quarter to lead 25-23 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Summit Christian Academy tied up the score with a basket from Nicoll, then took a lead with a free throw from senior guard Matt Collier. O’Hara responded with a free throw and bucket of their own to lead 28-26, but the Eagles retaliated with another shot from Nicoll to knot the score at 28-28.
Then things got heated in the already physical game as Eagles head coach Jake Kates was called for a technical foul and O’Hara hit both shots.
“We aren’t rivals,” Nicoll said. “It was just energy. We have to bring it every game. Play for each other and for God every time.”
Junior guard Taurin Hughes was fouled immediately afterward and he sunk both shots to tie the score again. The Eagles finally edged ahead at the end of the quarter after a basket from Collier and a three-point goal from senior guard Henry Stratton to lead 35-30. But O’Hara hit a bucket to make the score 35-33 going into the final eight minutes of play.
In the fourth quarter, with the score tied at 42-42, Stratton sunk a basket, followed by two free throws from Hughes to put the Eagles ahead at 46-42. Summit Christian Academy kept a solid lead through the final minutes to seal the victory.
“The game with O’Hara was a battle,” Kates said. “It was back and forth the entire game. Kyle Baker from O’Hara came in averaging 38 points in the tournament and Matt Collier held him to 10 points and only made two field goals for the game. Matt was definitely our MVP for that game.”
Nicoll had a team-high 18 points in the game, followed by Hughes with 17 points. Stratton had eight points and Collier had six points. Senior guard Garrett Gibson added three points.
The Eagles, 3-0, defeated University Academy 53-51 in overtime in the first round of the tournament Nov. 27 and took down Holden 76-54 in the semifinals Nov. 29.
“It feels good to win in our gym,” Nicoll said. “We have great fans who came out to support us in every single game. I’m happy for that.”
Hughes was named the Most Outstanding Player for the Eagle Invitational.
“He deserved it,” Kates said. “All of my guys played hard and played for their teammates. That is our goal for this year. Our theme is building men for others.”