Boys Varsity Basketball
The Eagles started fast and then held on late to earn a Conference 4 victory over Riverbend in “Johns-town” on Friday night. The win raised the Forge record to 14-5 overall, 3-0 in Conference 4 and it was their 10th straight victory.
Head Coach Jason John started his 4 seniors on this Senior Night along with junior James Shellington. The “good guys” started fast in this one as they scored 19 points in 15 possessions in the frame. The Eagles went to the bench at the end of the quarter with a 19-8 lead.
The Forge kept up the pace early in the second growing their lead to 31-14 midway through the second. Then the bottom fell out and the home team fell as a Stafford night in winter going scoreless for the final 3:30 of the stanza while the Bears got hot cutting the Forge lead down 31-27 at the half.
Early second half the Bears kept trying to chip away at the margin while the “good guys” tried to execute their offense in an effort to hold them off. The key play in the quarter came in the final two minutes of the quarter and the Eagles clinging to a 37-34 lead. Senior Carion Eaton stole a pass at the top of the key and drove the left side of the lane for a quick two. With the Forge pressing the Bears pulled the ball out of the net and advanced the rock up the court. A Riverbend pass was picked off by Senior Clarence Miles at mid court who found Eaton under the basket for another quick two and gave the Eagles a 41-34 lead with 1:47 left in the third quarter. The Forge ended the quarter leading 43-36 heading into “winning time”.
The final quarter the two teams went back and forth early and when the Bears A.J. Rollins hit a 3-pointer from the right corner the lead was cut to 48-47 Forge with 3:25 left in the contest causing John to call a timeout.
Coming out of the time out the Eagles turned the ball over and the Bears C.J. Washington was fouled and headed to the charity stripe to try and put the Bears on top. He bricked BOTH free throws and Shellington dropped in a bucket to give the Eagles a 50-47 lead.
Late in the quarter things got a little tight, and a little crazy at the same time. An intentional foul was called on Rollins who close lined Shellington in the right corner giving the Eagles two shots and the ball. Soon after the home team clinging to a 53-51 lead, “Big Game” James showed up again, blocking a shot in the lane causing a jump ball call. The possession arrow pointed to the “good guys” which sent Bears Coach Eric Davis into orbit.
Strangely on the next possession Eaton dropped the first of two free throws but on the play Shellington was called for a phantom technical foul as he battled the Bears Terrell Coles for a possible rebound. Eaton sank his second free throw and when Rollins clanged the technical free throws the Eagles maintained a 54-51 lead.
When the Eagles Dom Bogier fouled Bryce Webb attempting a 3-pointer it got interesting again in the final minute with the Eagles ahead 55-51. Webb hit the first two but front rimmed the final one and the game ended with the Eagles earning their 14th win and third in the Conference.
The Eagles have a date on Monday night when they travel to Hylton at 7:30pm. They will be home on Tuesday against Forest Park before ending the regular season on Friday at Freedom.