Categorized | Sports

Alexander drains buzzer-beater to complete Rebel comeback

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Rebel Matt Moody goes to the rim strong against Bishop Byrne.

The second half adjustments made by the Tipton-Rosemark Academy Rebels Nov. 27 helped them claw their way back into the game.

But with 2.5 seconds remaining in the contest, the comeback effort erasing the Bishop Byrne Red Knight’s 36-26 halftime advantage was only good enough to tie the game at 58-58 for the Rebels.

After the Red Knights knocked the ball out of bounds in front of the TRA student section, the Rebels set up for a play drawn up by Head Coach Jason Morgan. The play was designed to give TRA at least two options heading toward the basket.

With the Red Knights collasping on Rebel power forward Matt “Moose” Moody, the inbound pass went into the hands of Connor Alexander.

Alexander took a dribble and launched a shot over two defenders. The basketball found nothing but net sending the student section crazy and Alexander into the arms of his teammates.

“Amazing,” he said moments after giving his team a 60-58 win. “It felt good. I felt like I got some good arch on it. I felt like it was going in.”

Early in the game shots were not going in for the Rebels. Bishop Byrne was out-rebounding TRA and causing turnovers with its press.

The Red Knights built a 17-10 advantage after one quarter. Byrne outscored the Rebels 19-16 in the second quarter to take a 10-point lead into the locker room.

The final bucket of the first half was a reverse layup from Rebel Nick Biggs. The junior shooting guard would play a big role in TRA’s second half comeback.

The Rebels opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run to make the score 36-34 in favor of the Red Knights. One of the highlight plays of the rally was Rebel point guard Braxton Ross firing a bullet pass to Biggs for a layup.

When their teammate Moody hit a shot in the post, the deficit was two points. Byrne had an answer outscoring TRA 16-8 to rebuild the lead to 10 points.

Despite falling behind 52-42, the Rebels kept their composure to trim the deficit to 54-46 heading into the fourth quarter.

“Teamwork and hard work, it’s something we do in practice,” Biggs noted. “We work on situations.”

The situation facing the Rebels in the fourth quarter was a 57-48 hole. Biggs sparked the final run for TRA with another layup

Meanwhile Morgan took advantage of his timeouts giving his players new ways to break the Byrne press. Then players like Moody, Biggs, Ryan McCrory and Logan Stewart started to hit the boards out rebounding the Red Knight post players.

One rebound led to an outlet pass into the hands of Ross. The guard known as “The Boss” attacked the rim for a lay in making the score 57-52.

Seconds later Biggs scored again to trim the Byrne lead to three points. A Red Knight free throw made the score 58-54.

Then Alexander gave the crowd a preview of the conclusion hitting a jumper to make the scoreboard read 58-56. TRA finally tied the game with a minute and 53 seconds left when Biggs tossed the ball into the post to Moody for a bucket.

Byrne tried to run down the clock and get the final shot. But the Rebels’ 2-3 zone limited the Red Knights to one field goal attempt.

Causing one more turnover the ball ended up out of bounds to the possession of the Rebels. Alexander took the final shot of the game and nailed the jumper.

“This win will do a lot,” Alexander concluded. “We know what we can do but now we’re starting to do it. We’re playing together as a team.”

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December 2012
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