Flashes knock off Park Place in district opener

Published 11:25 pm Friday, December 14, 2018

PEARL — At the end of a difficult night, the St. Aloysius Flashes finally saw the light — thank goodness.

A game-tying 3-pointer by Park Place’s Zac Morgan was waved off after being released a split-second after the buzzer, allowing St. Al to escape with a 58-55 victory in their District 3-AAA opener on Friday night.

“When I saw it go in, my heart dropped,” St. Al coach Eddie Pickle said. “Two years we came over here and they beat us 71-70 on the buzzer, and I’m thinking here we go again. I’m yelling, ‘Wave it off, wave it off, wave it off,’ and thank God the official looked up and said, ‘Maybe he’s right.’”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Alvin Brown led St. Al (7-1, 1-0 District 3-AAA) with a game-high 25 points, while Sean Simpson scored 12 and Braxton Chewning had eight. Miles Owens led Park Place (7-4, 0-1) with 19 points, and Bryson Shupe scored 17.

Brown scored 10 of his points and went 8-for-8 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter to lead a big St. Al comeback in the final two minutes. He scored eight points during a game-ending 11-2 run.

St. Al trailed 53-47 with two minutes remaining, after leading by as many as 11 early in the second half. Despite being outplayed for several stretches, a few timely 3-pointers and free throws allowed Park Place to stay in the game and even build its late lead.

Shupe hit three of the Crusaders’ seven 3-pointers in the game. A technical foul on Brown in the third quarter led to two free throws by Owens and keyed a 16-3 run that gave the Crusaders a 42-41 lead heading into the final period.

“We turned the ball over too much. We missed free throws early on. We couldn’t get a shot to drop. Our 3-pointers are gone. I don’t know where they went. We’re going to have to send a search party to find them,” Pickle said. “But the kids have heart. They fought and got back in it.”

A steal and layup by Trinye Brown put the Flashes ahead 54-53 with 49.1 seconds left, and Alvin Brown sank four free throws down the stretch. Shupe hit a layup for Park Place with 3.2 seconds to go and, after Alvin Brown sank two free throws with 1.8 on the clock to make it 58-55, the Crusaders had one last chance.

The ball was inbounded to Presley Gaddock at halfcourt and he quickly passed to Morgan on the right wing. It was tipped slightly in transit, just enough to slow it down a hair. Morgan caught it, let it fly and banked it off the glass and in for the apparent tying 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.

The official closest to Morgan called it good, but another official at the far end of the court — who had a better view of the clock and the red backboard light that came on as the clock hit all zeroes — immediately rushed over to confer. After a brief huddle the shot was waved off and the celebration shifted from Park Place’s end of the floor to St. Al’s.

“I thought the light went off on the backboard before he released it. I’m going to have to go back and watch the film to make sure. But either way, we’ll take the win. The one referee that could see the light called it no good, so I’m going to go with him,” Pickle said with a laugh.

(G) Park Place 68, St. Al 50
Summer Dodson scored 16 points, while Sarah Freeny and Ariel Knott added 11 apiece to lead Park Place past the St. Aloysius Lady Flashes.

St. Al (0-9, 0-1 District 3-AAA) trailed 36-17 at halftime and by 28 points entering the third quarter, but rallied in the fourth to make it more respectable. The Lady Flashes outscored Park Place 25-14 in the final period and finished 19-for-27 at the free throw line.

Taylor Chewning hit 8 of her 9 free throw attempts and led St. Al with 15 points. Kendyl Rice scored 10 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter.

“We lost, but that’s the first time we’ve scored 50 in I don’t know how long. We made 71 percent of our free throws. We’re making some progress,” Pickle said.

(G) Porter’s Chapel 51, Franklin Academy 34
Brittnee Martin scored 15 points to lead three Porter’s Chapel Academy players in double figures, and the Lady Eagles rode a big second half to a victory over Franklin Academy on Thursday.

Fayth McDaniel added 13 points and five steals for PCA (7-6), and Kaylee Hinson finished with 12 points and three steals. Anna Grace White only scored four points, but chipped in seven rebounds and three steals.

PCA led by only two points at halftime, but Hinson scored half of her points in the third quarter as the Lady Eagles outscored Franklin 19-5 to take a commanding lead it did not relinquish.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

email author More by Ernest