BY don beane
News + Record Staff
SILER CITY — Jordan Hamilton came up with a clutch steal with 19.3 seconds left here on Tuesday night before canning 5-of-6 charity tosses to lift Chatham …
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SILER CITY — Jordan Hamilton came up with a clutch steal with 19.3 seconds left here on Tuesday night before canning 5-of-6 charity tosses to lift Chatham Charter to a thrilling 66-64 victory over Research Triangle Academy in area 1A Central Tar Heel Conference basketball.
With the win, Chatham Charter avenged its only loss of the season, and improved to 8-1 in league play, and to 21-1 overall.
Research Triangle Academy fell to 7-2 in the CTH and to 15-3 overall.
“Obviously a huge win for us here at home to avenge an earlier loss to Research Triangle,” said Chatham Charter coach Jason Messier. “We knew it would be tough, they have a talented team. But our guys were up to the challenge, and Jordan (Hamilton) just took over in the closing minute for us.”
Hamilton would close the contest with a monster game that included 25 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals for the Knights’ junior.
Connor Murphy, also a junior, added 25 points, five boards, two assists and a steal for another great performance.
“Hamilton and Murphy both were on tonight, they really played well and fed off of one another,” said Messier. “Cole (Milholen) also added 11 big points for us.”
Messier also pointed out how well his defense played against a talented Raptors club.
“They have some kids that can really score the basketball,” added Messier. “(Beau) Bryant, (Eric) Klappenbach, those guys can really hurt you. Defensively, we did a good job of somewhat limiting them tonight, and making the key stops down the stretch.”
Chatham Charter outscored Research Triangle 20-15 in the opening period before the contest turned into a defensive battle in the second with the Raptors owning a 10-9 advantage to cut the deficit to 29-25 at the intermission.
The Knights won the third period 15-13 to pull in front 44-38 entering the fourth.
And the locals would need all of it as Research Triangle Park used a 26-22 surge to almost complete the rally for the win.
Bryant closed with 21 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals to pace the Raptors in the loss while Klappenbach chipped in 13 points and six boards, and Keeyan Itejere 10 points, six rebounds, an assist, and a steal.
Research Triangle made 3-of-14 three-point attempts in the contest, including two by Bryant, one by Jalin Burris, and the final by Jonny Roberts.