MILLEDGEVILLE — The John Milledge Academy varsity basketball teams split a doubleheader against Tattnall Square Academy Friday evening.
The Trojan boys (3-0) won an overtime thriller 54-50, while the girls’ team (2-1) dropped its first game of the young season 41-34, at the Trojan Center.
JMA boys’ head coach Thomas Craig said he was proud of his team-total 20 steals, but in the end the Trojans had to steal the game back after being in command for most of the night.
“I thought we played hard for five quarters,” said Craig. “We battled back and found a way to win. I’m proud of my kids.”
The JMA boys got outscored 17-7 in the fourth quarter and needed a late bucket to get to overtime.
Both Prestwood brothers would be factors in the outcome, but Andrew Prestwood sank five free throws in the final minute of overtime to break a 49-49 score and allow his team to hold on for the win.
While Andrew provided the offensive heroics, brother Amos was solid defensively leading the team in rebounds and steals with nine and six, respectively.
The Trojans took an early 10-2 lead before Tattnall tied the game at 10. The Trojans then went on an impressive 16-point run highlighted by seven of those points scored by Brandon Panfil in a 45-second span that was capped with a steal and layup.
The momentum allowed the JMA boys to carry a 27-12 lead into the intermission. Panfil would finish with a team-high 20 points going 7-of-10 from the floor and 2-of-4 from beyond the arc.
Tattnall Academy fought back and finally took the lead with 3:30 left at 41-39. Again it was Panfil who this time sent the game to overtime with a tying-bucket that made it 43-43 with just three ticks remaining. Both teams traded the lead in the OT with it ultimately being decided at the charity stripe by Andrew Prestwood, who finished with 16 points.
The JMA girls’ team looked impressive out of the gate as Kelsey Chambers accounted for all of her team’s first quarter points in building a 10-3 lead. The Lady Trojans would take a five-point lead into the intermission at 16-11.
Tattnall Academy outscored JMA 30-18 in the second half to earn the 41-34 win.
Chambers’ final bucket of the game gave the Lady Trojans their last lead at 23-20 with less than four minutes left in the third quarter. From there, the defending Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) Class AAA champs would score 12 of the next 13 points to take over the game at 32-24. Both teams would trade points down the stretch with Hannah Miller registering all nine of her points in the game’s last eight minutes that included two 3-pointers. She would finish second in team scoring to Chambers’ 13.
“Our D was great in the first half,” said head coach Natasha Gainous. “The majority of their points were second chances. The first half we did a great job on their top player, but we just ran out of gas. Kelsey Chambers wants to play just as hard offensively as defensively. She is constantly going but she just ran out of steam tonight.”
Both JMA teams also played Brentwood at home Saturday.
The Trojan girls used 19 points from Olivia Clements in a 42-38 victory, while the boys defeated the Eagles as well.
Chris Williams scored 15 points, Panfil netted 17 and Andrew Prestood finished the Brentwood win with 16 points.
JMA hosts rival Gatewood Tuesday night with varsity action beginning at 6 p.m.