ATHENS — With less than 20 seconds on the clock, Trey Potts was nervous.
With Athens High and Austin boys basketball tied at 58 in the final stretch, Potts took another shot at a play he is accustomed to dropping.
“It was a play that we’ve been running for a long time, and in practice I usually miss the ball,” he said.
After the whistle, Nathanial Potts took the ball to the top of the key and passed it to his brother, who waited near the baseline. Trey Potts grabbed the pass and drove in from the low left, making the game-winning layup to put the Golden Eagles over Austin, 60-58.
“Tonight I just focused in on the ball when it came to me, and I finished the play,” Trey Potts said.
Athens came out soaring, opening the game with a 7-point run. Austin didn’t wait long, answering with nine points, capped by Camron Reedus, who added 15 points for the Black Bears in the game.
In the first half, the lead switched twice before a jumper from Malique Elliott evened the score at 30 by half. Athens led in the third, but fell back after Elliott put Austin ahead on a five-point run, followed by a three pointer from Reedus to leave the Golden Eagles trailing by four.
Nathaniel Potts tied the score at 58 with two free throw shots.
“A month ago, at Austin, we didn’t make shots,” said Athens coach Stace Tedford of the last meeting between the two teams. “I told the guys before the game, ‘In big games, big players step up,’ and I thought they did."
For Athens (16-7), Nathanial Potts scored 21 points with seven rebounds, while Trey Potts totaled 14 points and nine rebounds. Neil Malone had 10 assists, while Dedrick Stinnett had seven rebounds.
Elliott added 21 points for Austin (14-5), while Everette Mayes scored 13.
“This is a learning experience for us,” Austin coach Demond Garth said. “We need to execute better down the stretch. It was a great environment here.”
Austin girls 77, Athens 70: In another close game, Tyra Johnson’s 25 points led all scorers, pushing Austin to the win.
The Lady Bears (17-6) led by as many as nine points in the first quarter until a 10-point run put Athens in front, 21-20, to start the second. Katie Speegle’s jumper put Austin back in front, followed by a 6-point run that left Athens trailing 42-33 at half.
After, Destiny Bailey shot a pair of layups in the third to put the Golden Eagles in
front by one point until Austin regained the lead with Alliyah Rice’s 3-pointer from the right.
Tyra Johnson led all scorers with 25 points, while Takisha Jordan added 21, and Speegle recorded 11.
For Athens (10-12), Alliyah Smith scored 23 points, followed by Bailey, who added 21. Jazzmin Hicks followed with 13 points.
Meredith Qualls can be reached at 256-340-2395 or email@example.com.
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