A furious push by Bradwell Institute late in the fourth quarter resulted in a trip to the line with a chance to tie in the waning seconds, but Glynn Academy escaped Friday’s boys consolation game with a 63-61 win and Region 2-6A’s third seed.
Jordan Battle’s free throw gave the Terrors an 11-point advantage with just over four minutes to play before a last gasp by the Tigers put the outcome in doubt. Bradwell scored 19 points in the closing minutes of the contest — a corner 3 cutting the deficit to a single point with six seconds remaining.
A quick foul and a 1-of-2 trip at the free throw line by Glynn gave Bradwell one last possession, and it used it to earn a trip to the charity stripe for a 1-and-1 on a blocking foul near midcourt.
Needing both free throws to tie the game, the Tigers missed the first and the clock ran out on the comeback attempt.
“They jumped in their press, and we had a couple of bad turnovers, and they capitalized off of them, hit some big, deep 3-pointers, and made a game out of it,” said Terrors head coach Terrance Haywood. “I just think we were very blessed tonight to get out of her with a win and grab the third seed.”
A win looked anything but assured for Glynn when Bradwell scored the first nine points of the game.
“We weren’t playing with a lot of intensity,” Haywood said. “The gym was pretty much empty, and we just came out really flat.”
To jump-start the team, the Terrors quickly jumped into their zone press, using the pressure to force some turnovers to get themselves going with a few easy baskets.
Glynn Academy closed the first quarter on 14-2 run, and after a back-and-forth second, the Terrors made another push to close the third and go up eight entering the final period.
Despite increasing the lead to 11 with fewer than five minutes to play, Glynn was unable to comfortably close the game. Haywood said the less-than-perfect ending will give the team an opportunity to improve in late-game situations before the state playoffs.
It’ll be a much-anticipated return to the postseason for the Terrors after missing out a year ago.
“That was the first time in my career my team hadn’t been in the state playoffs,” Haywood said. “So that was extremely tough. The guys played so hard, I know what they put into it, and to win 15 games and not be in the playoffs was extremely tough.
“We just kept telling the guys that played last year, remember that feeling we had last year of not being in the playoffs… We’re excited now. I told the kids, regardless of what happened in the regular season, once this region tournament is over, everybody is 0-0 now.”
Kevarius Sparks scored a game-high 23 points for Glynn, and his work at the free throw line, where he was 9-of-10 in the fourth, was invaluable. Willie Murray added 14 points, and Battle chipped in 10.
Now, Glynn Academy will take to the road next week for a first-round matchup against the loser of the Region 3-6A championship game between McEachern and North Paulding.