Harvest Christian handles Elgin Academy
With Matt Ellett, one of Harvest Christian Academy's top offensive players, out of action, coach Bryan Bradshaw needed other players to fill in the void Saturday night in a nonconference game at Elgin Academy.
Brandon Keeran, Ben Lothery and Daniel Doby answered the call.
After the Hilltoppers narrowed the Lions' lead to 38-35 at the end of the third quarter, the trio stepped up to return the momentum to Harvest Christian (8-7). The Lions outscored the Hilltoppers 20-10 in the final eight minutes for a 58-45 win.
"We were up 10 with about a minute and a half left in the third quarter and they went on a 7-0 run to close the quarter," Bradshaw said. "In the huddle before the start of the fourth, I said that's the game of basketball. We go on a run, they go on a run. We need to respond and go on a run."
Keeran opened the frame scoring seven of his 16 points to return the margin to 10.
"We came out and Brandon had two drives for layups and then he hit a 3 to start the fourth quarter," said Bradshaw. "That extended the lead back to 10 and from there we closed it out to finish the game."
"We responded. That's what we are supposed to do," Keeran said.
Lothery added three inside baskets. The freshman led all scorers with 21 points.
"Ben Lothery in the fourth quarter controlled the ball for us, took care of it and was able to get into the paint and get some easy buckets when we needed it," said Bradshaw.
Doby did not score in the quarter, but took an offensive charge that Bradshaw felt prevented an Elgin Academy (7-8) rally.
"Daniel took an absolutely huge charge on the defensive end of the floor when they were just starting to make a little bit of a run to tighten the game up," Bradshaw said. "He took a charge and changed the momentum."
Harvest Christian jumped out to a 17-6 first quarter lead. The Hilltoppers outscored the Lions 13-9 in the second eight minutes to trail 26-19 at the half.
"I think our guys were ready to play. We have been taking steps. Matt Ellett went out a week ago," said Bradshaw. "We knew that in order to get better our guys would have to step up. Each guy that has been playing for us has been doing that -- making the plays that they needed to."
Nate Boldog tallied 13 points for Harvest Christian.
Elijah Peagues led Elgin Academy scoring with 12 points while teammate Jabe Haith notched 10.
"They shot well and they outplayed us," Elgin Academy coach Rick Williams said. "We were unable to efficiently move the ball against their zones. They mixed up their zones and our guys were confused by them."