Orlando’s The First Academy held an end-of-the-season shootout this past Saturday featuring one JV and four Varsity games. We were only able to see the final two games due to various time conflicts but it was well worth the time to get there.
The Villages Charter vs. Melbourne Holy Trinity Episcopal
It took a little over three minutes for either team to score, but The Villages got on the board first and led 4-0 after four minutes. From there, Holy Trinity owned the quarter, going on an 11-4 run to close it out. They maintained that lead in the second period until The Villages made a lot run of their own to tied the score at 22-22 at the break.
Holy Trinity regained control in the third quarter, leading by as many as twelve and with 3:30 left in the period, The Villages called a timeout down eight, 33-25. It was a seven-point game, 38-31, entering the final quartet. The Villages closed the gap quickly, getting within three, 40-37, in the first two minutes of the period. Holy Trinity composed itself and pushed its lead to five, 46-41, with four minutes remaining. The Villages weren’t done and began to press on the defensive end. This yielded results and with 1:30 remining, Holy Trinity’s lead was down to three, 51-48. Not long after, The Villages 6’9 senior and Alabama signee Sam Walters got a steal and score to cut the margin to one. After a Holy Trinity miss, Ben Koubek, a 6’3 junior for The Villages, was fouled and went to the line for two shots. He made both with fifty-three second left to play. Holy Trinity held the ball for a final shot, but 6’7 freshman Kymani Weathers blocked the shot for The Villages and Walters grabbed the loose ball. Holy Trinity had no choice but to foul. Walters nailed both shots. Holy Trinity’s buzzer beater was well off and The Villages eked out a 55-51 win.
Walters led The Villages with 17 points while Koubek finished with 12 points and 5’7 junior Jack Flanagan added 11 points.
For Holy Trinity, 6’7 freshman Caleb Gaskins led all scorers with 21 points while 5’10 eighth grader Martay Barnes finished with 12 points.
The First Academy vs. Lakeland Victory Christian
Victory Christian got out of the gate a bit quicker and led by five, 13-8, midway thru the first period. Little did we know at the time that that would be one of the larger leads of the game. After one quarter of play, Victory led by three, 18-15. The score continued to be close and TFA grabbed a 25-23 lead with 5:20 left in the second quarter, forcing a Victory timeout. It worked as Victory went on a 7-2 run to re-take the lead and force a TFA timeout with just under four minutes left in the half. At the break, Victory’s three-point lead after one quarter carried over to the second quarter with the score at 39-36. The game within the game was turning out to be Victory Christian’s scoring sensation Lorenzo Cason, a 6’2 junior and TFA’s 6’3 freshman phenom Donovan Williams. At the break, Cason had 21 points while Williams had 18 points for the Royals.
TFA grabbed momentum coming out of the break, grabbing the lead back at 42-41 at the six minute mark and led by three, 49-46, midway through the quarter. However, the teams entered the final period tied at 54-54. Like the rest of the contest, the lead swung back and forth between the two teams. The First Academy led by three, 68-65, with 1:30 to play until Victory’s 5’11 junior Michael Andino converted a three-point play to tie the game. On TFA’s next possession, Williams drew a foul with a minute to go and connected on both free throws. TFA forced a turnover but Victory was able to force one of their own to get the ball back. Andino scored on a mid-range jumper with twenty seconds left to tie the game at 70-70. TFA was unable to get another look and we headed into overtime.
Victory got on the board first in the overtime with a transition basket from Andino. TFA answered with a putback on its next possession. Victory scored on the break quickly afterwards. The teams missed on their next respective possessions and after another TFA miss, Andino was fouled and made both shots to make it a two-possession game, 76-72. TFA responded with a bucket and when Victory turned the ball over on its next possession with forty-five seconds left, TFA had life. Williams connected on two free throws after being fouled on the drive, knotting the game again at 76-76 with twenty seconds left. After a timeout from both teams, Victory Christian pushed the ball up the floor. Andino found a seam to the basket and scored with five seconds left. Out of timeouts, TFA could only fire off a prayer that went unanswered. Victory Christian wins a close one, 78-76.
Cason finished with 33 points for Victory Christian. Andino added 19 points and 6’2 junior Jordan Lanier finished with 11 points.
Williams of TFA finished the contest with 33 points. Ryalon John Baptiste, a 6’0 senior, added 22 points to the First Academy cause.