BRISTOL --- Friday's Arby's Classic consolation bracket
quarterfinal game came down to Cherokee (10-8) possession under their own
basket with seconds left. Any chance of winning was knocked away on the
inbounds pass by Sullivan East (16-5) bigman Jonathan King, preserving a 50-49
victory for Sullivan East.
Despite losing the game in the final seconds, Cherokee Coach
Jeremy Parrott said this game was lost much earlier.
"This basketball game was lost in the first half," Parrott
said, "We gave them too many easy looks, too many offensive rebounds and had a
nine-point deficit. This was where the game was lost, not the inbounds play at
the end of the game. We were having to battle back, we started sluggishly. Make
no mistake about it, we didn't get our shot at the end, but this game was lost
in the first 16 minutes.
"If you keep Sullivan East in the 50's, you should beat
them. That's pretty much what we were trying to do. You can take lumps like
this if you learn from them. Hopefully the toughness of our schedule will count
The fact that Cherokee had played the late game (8:30 pm)
the night before against Berkmar, Ga., probably played into Cherokee's
sluggishness early, as the Chiefs struggled to keep up with the Patriots early
on, trailing by as many as nine points in the first half, including a 50-foot
half-court shot hit by East's David Casaday to widen the lead to nine, 26-17 at
Cherokee rallied, thanks to the hot shooting of Tanner
Trent, who scored a game-high and career-high 25 points and grabbed three
rebounds. "Tanner had a big game, you can count on him. He is going to block
his man out, he took eight charges, you can always depend on Tanner. I'm very
proud of him," Parrott said.
Ryans put the Chiefs back to within one on a trey, 39-38,
but East scored two baskets for a 46-38 lead with five minutes left in the
game. Cherokee started their full-court pressure with 2:17 left, forcing
several East turnovers. Ryans hit two free tosses to bring the lead back to
48-44 before an East layup made it 50-44. Trent fired in a three for a 50-47
deficit with 1:14 left, then hit a layup to trail 50-49. East missed a
one-and-one allowing Cherokee to have a chance to pull this one out, but Trent
had the ball stripped by the East defense with four seconds left. The final
inbounds pass was also knocked away without a final shot by the Chiefs.
Ty Ryans added 11 points and four rebounds for the Chiefs.
Tyler Ringley was next with seven points and three rebounds.