TJCA boys hold on for late win
Faced with a seven point deficit at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Thomas Jefferson roared back to take a late lead and survived two missed shots in the final 12 seconds to hold on for a dramatic 58-56 win over Pine Lake Prep.
“This team does not quit,” said TJCA head coach Ken Hines. “I’m very proud of the way the team continued to fight.”
The Thomas Jefferson Gryphons (2-3) used the fast break to race to a quick start. With the lightning quick Borders at point guard the home team went coast to coast for two easy layups.
Borders then found Brooks Corder with a beautiful bounce pass that resulted in another layup. Jack Hays then got hot for Pine Lake as he scored six straight to tie the contest, Borders restored order by getting in the lane and hitting consecutive floaters. As a result TJCA grabbed a four point lead and held it for the rest of the quarter leading 17-13.
The second quarter was fast-paced.
Pine Lake’s Ryan Hillman got hot from the outside, knocking down shots from outside on consecutive possessions to give his team their first lead.
The teams traded baskets for most of the rest of quarter with Justus Freeland and doing most of the heavy lifting for TJ. However Hayes hit a shot late in the quarter to give Pine Lake Prep a 31-28 lead at the break
Pine Lake opened the third on 9-2 run to grab a double digit lead.
The Gryphons fought back as Truth Freeland canned a baseline jumper while the quick hands of Borders lead to a steal and layup by Corder The home team could get no closer for the rest of the quarter as the Pride’s Justin Kolesar buried a deep three to beat the buzzer and make the tally 48-41.
A Borders layup and a put-back by Nathaniel Devon closed the gap to three points early in the final frame. After a series of misses by both squads, Borders hit a another acrobatic layup to pull his team to within a point, Freeland then connected on a pair of big shots, a three pointer and baseline jumper.
After Kolesar hit a deep three, freshman Nick Mintz hit a runner to push the advantage back to three points. Borders then stole the ball and converted a layup on the other end to make the tally 58-53 with 48 seconds left. Kolesar answered with yet another three. Borders missed the front end of a one and one to set up the final seconds of the game.
Borders led TJCA with 18 points.