Gryphons fall to Polk Co.
Thomas Jefferson (4-9) nearly erased an 18-point third quarter deficit, closing to within five points on two separate occasions, but Polk County’s Jamal Tanner hit some clutch shots down the stretch as Polk held on to defeat Thomas Jefferson 65-54.
“I’m very proud of the way the team fought back and didn’t quit,” said coach Ken Hines. ”We had a few mental lapses and that’s what cost us the game. We are getting better and that’s all you can ask for.”
A lid seemed to be on the basket to start the game as the first field goal did not fall for either side until the 4:53 mark.
Justus Freeland scored that first basket, but the rest of the quarter belonged to Polk County. Jamal Tanner continually leaked out for easy baskets when TJCA sent men to the offensive glass. Tanner had six points in the quarter that led his team to a 13-6 lead.
Mason Fenner tried to lead his team back by connecting on a deep 3 to start the frame, but Polk got hot from the outside also.
Alec Phillpott and Anthony Carson each hit two shots from beyond the arc while Tanner and Sequan Miller drove past Gryphon defenders for easy buckets. Efrim Borders also found success driving to the bucket but it was not enough to keep pace with Polk as they led 36-20 at the break.
Things did not improve for TJCA coming out as Tanner stripped the ball in the open floor for the easy layup.
Borders, Truth and Justus Freeland each hit 3-pointers as part of an 11-2 TJCA run to make the tally 40-31 midway through the third quarter.
Carson ended the run with a layup, but Chris Mintz converted a three-point play and Freeland hit a shot from beyond the arc to cut the deficit to five points. Tanner scored the final five points of the quarter to push the Polk lead to 49-39 going into the final quarter
TJCA opened that fourth quarter on a 4-0 run and by the time Truth and Freeland hit both ends of a 1-and-1 chance the deficit had shrunk to six.
A quick 4-0 spurt by Polk pushed the tally to 53-43 with 5:15 left.
TJCA fought valiantly but the comeback was not to be as Tanner scored the next seven Polk points and held off a late Gryphon charge. As a result TJCA fell 65-54.
Tanner led Polk with 19 points while Freeland had 16 points for the Gryphons.