MILLEDGEVILLE — Exploding out of the gates in the first round of the region tournament, the John Milledge Academy boy’s basketball team led from start to finish Tuesday night in its 45-42 win over Augusta Prep in the Trojan Center.
After accumulating a 16-point lead in the third quarter, the Cavaliers battled back only to come up short as the Trojans found a way to put points on the board down the stretch.
This game is a game of streaks, you know, it’s a game of runs, especially when you get this late in the season,” Thomas Craig, head coach, said. “It always comes down to a high scoring game.”
While JMA had a 12-2 run early in the third period to extend their lead, mistakes plagued the Trojans late in the game to allow the Cavaliers to make a comeback.
“During that 12-2 run, we executed on both sides of the floor, but then Prep countered with a 10-0 run,” Craig said. “We didn’t do some things right; we didn’t box out well and we didn’t play good half-court defense.”
Craig believes it was the team’s ability to stay composed the rest of the game that ended up giving JMA the opportunity to win it late.
“Toward the end of the game we threw the ball away a little bit — we were just getting a little nervous with the ball,” he said. “We weren’t flashy and we really weren’t playing our type of offensive basketball, but you know what, we kept our turnovers down for the game and that’s why we came out on top.”
Holding only a 1-point lead late in the ball game, Vince McPherson, junior, and Michael Lewis, senior, both made layups that ultimately sealed the deal for the Trojans.
“I’m proud of my guys. They battled,” Craig said. “We talk about hustling and we talk about battling — all game long we gave ourselves a chance and we ended up coming out on top.”
Brantley Attaway, senior, led the charge for JMA Monday night knocking down 18 points with four assists against the Cavaliers, going 5-for-6 from beyond the arc.
The Trojans shot 57 percent from the free-throw line against Augusta Prep, 58 percent from behind the arc and 56 percent from field goal range.
Though the team had to work for the win last night, Craig admits a win at this point in the season is golden.
“You live to see another day this time of year with a win, and we’ll take it,” he said. “Now we’ve got to get ready to play on Thursday. We’ve got to get some rest and play up.”
JMA will jump back into action at home on Thursday for more region tournament action against the No.1-seeded Bethesda. The game begins at 7 p.m.