JV Gryphons make it close
It was a rough night for the Thomas Jefferson JV boys Friday night when they welcomed the pesky Piedmont Charter Patriots to Cool Springs Gymnasium.
The game was postponed 90 minutes after the Patriots bus encountered traffic issues on their trek to Rutherford County, but it didn’t make the Patriot defense any less stingy as they went home with a 27-23 victory.
“We haven’t seen that type of defensive pressure so we didn’t handle it that well,” head coach Ken Hines said following the game. “We’re inexperienced at the guard position and it really showed tonight.”
Thomas Jefferson’s T.J. Wallace opened the scoring for the game but the Gryphons managed only one more point the remainder of the quarter.
The quicker, more athletic defense from the Patriots allowed them to outscore TJCA 7-1 the final seven minutes of the opening quarter.
Luckily it wasn’t worse as the Patriots missed three free throws at the end of the quarter.
TJCA opened the scoring again in the second quarter on a Coleman Putnam jumper from the free throw strip and Bradley Freels tied the game at 7-7 with an easy put back.
There was even less offense in the second quarter than the first as Piedmont Charter went into the break leading 12-9.
Again, TJCA struck first in the third quarter on a Joeseph Outten jumper, but Piedmont’s Mitch Pearson scored five straight to restore the lead.
The third quarter ended with the Patriots leading 21-13.
The fourth quarter was just too little, too late for the Gryphons.
TJCA opened on a 9-1 run behind Putnam, Freels and a three pointer by Outten to cut the lead to just two, 24-22.
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The Gryphons had a chance to score on a fast break just seconds after the Outten three, but Piedmont forced another turnover to preserve their slim lead.
Piedmont’s Adriane Delph drained a deep ball with just over two minutes left in the game to seal the Gryphons’ fate and the 27-23 victory.
Putnam and Freels led the Gryphons with six points apiece.
“We’re a little inexperienced so we’re going to struggle a little,” Hines said. “But the boys played hard the entire game, we just didn’t play well.”