Special to the Daily
Friday night at Lovejoy the fourth quarter seemed to hold an upset in the making, but it was the Wildcats who were triumphant over the visiting Trojans 50-48.
The Trojans' tenacious defense kept them close in the first quarter but Lovejoy held a slim 10-7 lead. However, in the second quarter Lovejoy used a balanced offensive attack to increase its lead to eight points, entering the half with the score 23-15.
Banneker battled back in the third quarter and started chipping away at Lovejoy's lead.
The Trojans' senior shooting guard Sherrod Wade led the way, scoring seven points in the quarter and helping Banneker erase the Wildcats' eight point lead.
Entering the fourth quarter, Lovejoy clung to a slim 32-31 lead. Banneker's comeback became complete when the Trojans took their first lead of the night at 35-34 with 7:14 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The two teams traded leads for the remainder of the quarter, but it was Banneker who held the lead and the ball in the waning moments of the game. The Trojans were up 45-44 with time winding down when senior shooting guard Ryan Green brought the ball up the court.
Green looked up trying to find an open man, but instead gave Wildcat sophomore point guard DeAngelo Anthony an opportunity to steal the ball, and the Trojans' lead. Anthony drove the ball down the court, only to get fouled Green. The foul, a flagrant, gave the Wildcats two shots and the ball. It was also Green's fifth of the game, ending his night.
After Anthony sank both free throws to give Lovejoy a 46-45 lead, junior center Justin Tuoyo received the ball on the inbound pass and pivoted in the post for an easy basket. The Trojans drew fouls on two straight possessions, but missed two of the five free throws.
Tied at 48, the Trojans braced themselves on defense and Lovejoy looked for an open player to inbound the ball to. Just as he had been doing the whole fourth quarter, Lovejoy's junior point guard Jermaine Hough got open, and proceeded to drive the ball coast-to-coast, making a lay-up with 3.5 seconds left to give Lovejoy a 50-48 lead. A last second three-point attempt Banneker was no good and the Wildcats escaped with the narrow victory.
The Wildcats were led Hough and Tuoyo both offensively and defensively. Hough finished with 12 points and four assists, while Tuoyo posted 13 points, 13 blocks and nine rebounds, finishing one rebound shy of a triple-double.
The Wildcats (13-2) will look to continue their dominance next Tuesday at North Clayton. The Trojans (9-7) return home Tuesday against Mundy's Mill.
Lovejoy 52 Banneker 21 (girls)
The Lovejoy Lady Wildcats came into the game with a two game winning streak and got off to a quick start, dominating the game from every aspect as they defeated the visiting Banneker Lady Trojans 52-21 Friday night.
The Lady Wildcats outscored the Lady Trojans 32-4 in the first half, dominating the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. The second half showcased the same dominant play, and despite Lovejoy pulling its starters in the third quarter, the Lady Trojans were still outscored 20-17 in the half.
The Lady Wildcats were led junior point guard Navilla Paul, who scored 17 points to go along with her four steals and three assists. Sophomore center Kim Dawkins also had a standout performance, scoring six points to compliment her 11 rebounds, four blocks and four steals.
Lovejoy (6-9) will look to continue their winning streak at North Clayton on Tuesday. The winless Lady Trojans (0-13) will continue searching for their first win of the season when they return home to face Mundy's Mill on Tuesday.