While Alabama and Clemson were just teeing it up in the national title game almost 3,000 miles away in San Francisco, the Chatham Charter and Clover Garden boy’s basketball teams were closing …
While Alabama and Clemson were just teeing it up in the national title game almost 3,000 miles away in San Francisco, the Chatham Charter and Clover Garden boy’s basketball teams were closing out an exciting Monday night contest up in Altamahaw.
With key 1A Central Tar Heel Conference implications on the line, Chatham Charter escaped with a trilling 48-47 triumph in the waning seconds.
Chatham Charter improved to 1-1 in league play with the win and to 14-1 overall, while Clover Garden dropped to 1-1 in the Central Tar Heel and to 6-8 overall.
The contest was tightly contested the entire way with neither team managing a double-digit lead in the game.
“We knew it was a tough place to play here (Clover Garden) going into the game,” said CC coach Jason Messier after the big win. “Clover Garden has improved a great deal in the past few years and joining the conference has given them an even bigger boost. It was a close game the entire night.”
Trailing 46-45 with time winding down, the host Grizzlies looked poised and ready to seize the win from the Knights when guard Heath Worsham sank a 12-footer with just :16.2 ticks left on the clock to put Clover Garden in front 47-46.
Messier pointed out to his clubs credit, they did not panic and answered with a well executed response.
“Our guys have been in a lot of big games over the past few seasons, and I think that showed at the end,” noted Messier. “We didn’t panic, worked the ball down the floor and attacked the basket.”
Specifically senior guard A.J. Alston attacked the lane, and drew a pair of Grizzly defenders to him. Alston then calmly sent a bounce pass to a cutting Ryan White who laid the ball in with :5.4 seconds remaining to send the Knights up 48-47.
Clover Garden forced a hurried shot well off the mark at the buzzer to allow Chatham Charter to survive with the one-point road victory.
Jordan Hamilton had a big game in the pain for the Knights on Monday evening, collecting a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds to pace the local club.
Hamilton had four of his team’s six points in the opening period as Clover Garden slugged its way to a 9-6 lead after one behind five points from Matt Hall, including a deep wing trey in the closing minute.
Chatham Charter heated up offensively in the second period, using a quick 6-2 spurt and four points from Cole Milholen to send the Knights up 12-11 with 4:07 left in the half.
Hamilton would connect with four foul shots attempts, and Connor Murphy and Tyler Detmer added a basket each as Chatham Charter took a narrow 20-18 advantage into the intermission.
Isaac Worsham had five points, including a three-pointer, to lead the Grizzlies in the second quarter.
The contest went back and forth in the third as Hamilton took over in the paint, pumping in six points, while Baggio Rodriguez added four points for the Knights which outscored the Grizzlies 16-12 in the frame to go up 36-30 entering the fourth.
Caleb Cobb canned a trey and Ethan Jones added a conventional three-point play to keep Clover Garden within striking distance.
“We knew that Clover Garden would make a run in the fourth and they did,” added Messier. “The Worsham brothers really sparked them and we had to withstand the run.”
Isaac Worsham had nine points in the final period, including a trey which cut the Chatham Charter lead to 42-40 with 1:47 remaining.
Earlier in the quarter, Hall and Lawson Pope had connected on a trey each to spark the Grizzlies rally.
Hamilton had four points for the Knights in the fourth and Dettmer, Alston and Murphy a basket apiece to keep Chatham Charter in the lead, albeit a precarious one, as the waning moments approached.
In the end the composure of the veteran Chatham Charter club paid off with White sinking the game-winner in the 48-47 victory.
In addition to the 18 points by Hamilton, Chatham Charter also received six points from Dettmer, Murphy and Rodriguez, while Milholen chipped in five more.
Isaac Worsham led Clover Garden with 16 points while Hall added 10, Noah Tickle six, and Pope five.
Chatham Charter was scheduled to open a four-game conference home stand last night (Tuesday) with a showdown against Woods Charter.
The Knights then entertain Chatham Central on Friday evening in Siler City before hosting Raleigh Charter next Tuesday.