Wayne Christian's boys upend Wayne Country Day
By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on November 29, 2006 1:47 PM
It was one of those shots where a coach screams out "no, no, no" as the player shoots the ball, but then yells his approval after it drops through the net.
With Wayne Christian leading Wayne Country Day by one at 49-48 with less than a minute to play, Nick Woods -- who hadn't scored in the second half and finished with just five points -- drove to the basket and threw up an off-balance, right-handed lay-up that managed to drop in.
"It was an outstanding drive," Wayne Christian coach Tim Brannan said. "I'm glad that ball went in, because if it doesn't, the coach isn't too happy."
The basket gave the Eagles a three-point advantage they'd never lose as they held on for a 53-48 victory over the Chargers.
T.A. Brannan, who was back in the Wayne Christian (2-3) lineup after missing the past three games with an injury, led the way with 17 points while Shea Gleasman added 12.
"When (T.A.) comes into the game, he adds a lot of emotion to this team," coach Brannan said. "I thought he did an outstanding job tonight."
Wayne Country Day (2-2) got a strong effort from Floronta Wynn, who scored a game-high 19 points -- including all but three of the Chargers' first-half points -- before fouling out.
In the first-half, Wayne Christian took advantage of 15 Wayne Country Day turnovers to build a 17-point half-time advantage at 32-15.
"The biggest problem in our game was impatience against the zone defense," Wayne Country Day coach Mark Ellis said.
The second half saw the Chargers become more patient against the 2-3 match-up zone. In return, they cut down on their turnovers and began to chip away at the Eagles' lead.
A 13-3 run by Wayne Country Day over the final four minutes of the third quarter cut the Wayne Christian lead to six at 39-33 entering the fourth.
The Chargers opened the final period with a bang. Shadoe Stewart's three-pointer cut the deficit to 39-36.
Potential disaster then struck for Wayne Country Day as Wynn picked up his fifth foul while diving for a lose ball with 7:04 to play.
"We were trying to put (Wynn) on a guy that didn't handle the ball much, but he got a diving foul," Ellis said.
Wayne Christian then built its lead back to eight on a lay-in by T.A. Brannan at 44-36 with 5:34 to go.
Instead of panicking, Wayne Country Day rallied when faced with the adversity.
The Chargers went on a 7-0 run to cut the Eagles' advantage to 44-43 with 3:47 to play. The key to the run was their intense half-court pressure that forced the Eagles into 15 second-half turnovers.
"When (Wayne Country Day) was able to force those turnovers, you saw what happened," coach Brannan said. "We have to play under control and when we did that we were successful, but when we didn't we ran into problems."
A basket by Adam Brannan pushed the lead back to three, but Wayne Country Day refused to go away.
Three more times the lead would be chopped down to a single point, yet each time, the Eagles had an answer.
"It was an emotional win," coach Brannan said. "You have to have a win like this once and a while to get the guys a little more confidence."
While coach Brannan believes the victory could serve as a stepping stone for the season, he still sees a lot to work on.
"If we make our free throws, this game isn't going to be as close as it was," said coach Brannan, whose team missed 19 of their 25 attempts from the line. "We have some things that we have to work on to be come a better team.
"We're learning how to be a team right now."
WCDS 7 8 18 15 -- 48
WCS 13 19 7 14 -- 53
WAYNE COUNTRY DAY (2-2)
Floronta Wynn 7 1 2-2 19, Ajay Fowler 4 0 1-2 9, Shadoe Stewart 1 2 0-0 8, Kameron Byrd 1 1 0-0 5, Lamar Carpenter 2 0 1-5, Kyle Pender 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 16 4 4-9 48
WAYNE CHRISTIAN (2-3)
T.A. Brannan 7 0 3-11, Shea Gleasman 6 0 0-0 12, Eric Williams 4 0 0-2 8, Adam Brannan 3 0 0-2 6, Doug Johnson 0 1 2-2 5, Nick Woods 2 0 1-6. TOTALS -- 22 1 6-25 53
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