Chapel Hill Escapes at Last Second Against Gilmer, 68-66
NEW CHAPEL HILL -- Overtime was on everyone's mind.
Except Teon Erwin.
With 11 seconds to go, Gilmer tied the game. Chapel Hill coach Robert Sampson inquired about timeouts, but got no response. The Bulldogs rushed up the court and dumped the ball off to Erwin, a freshman. He was met with contact as he went up and the ball bounced off the rim and through the hoop.
Cue frenzied shouting from the home crowd.
Gilmer coach Keith Tate tried to call timeout, but the buzzer had already sounded. The Bulldogs survived with a 68-66 victory to clinch the 15-4A district championship Friday.
"I just feel like if I made the stadium proud, I made everybody proud," Erwin said. "I had to do what I had to do and I just felt so excited."
Chapel Hill (19-10, 6-1 District 15-4A) was in position to win early on. Thanks to a first half in which they made six 3-pointers, the Bulldogs entered halftime with a 38-28 lead. Gilmer would make the adjustments needed to claw back into the game, though.
Red Jones was deadly for the Buckeyes from midrange all game. He finished with 23 points to lead the team. Thanks to his shooting and an increased effort to drive to the basket in the second, Gilmer tied it at 50 at the end of the third with Trae Fluellen's transition layup.
Gilmer would score the first five points of the fourth to take a 55-50 lead. After both teams traded baskets for a few possessions, Chapel Hill's Devin Taylor nailed a 3 to cut the Gilmer lead to one. Sampson called timeout and switched the defense from a zone to a man.
"They were killing us outside in the third quarter," Sampson said. "We struggled offensively. We tried to get into a couple of offensive sets and do some things differently. I thought offensively, we were very vulnerable all night. I think we were extremely fortunate to win that game."
Chapel Hill next has an away game against Spring Hill at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Gilmer will look to rebound when it faces Kilgore at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The Bulldogs will hope to move on and improve on this game, but for Erwin, this will be a game he remembers for a long time. Sampson said he thinks he will be remembered for more than just that, eventually.
"He's only 14 years old," he said. "We ask him to do a lot at that age. We want him to block, we want him to rebound, we want him to score every time he has the ball. He's getting hit and bumped around a lot physically. For him to have the courage to make that shot, that was huge."
Gilmer Girls Ease Past Chapel Hill
NEW CHAPEL HILL -- Chapel Hill had no answer.
The Lady Bulldogs knew what Gilmer was going to do every time it had the ball. Still, they were hapless to stop it.
Haylee Jordan and Kyla Grant did what they wanted all night as Gilmer took down Chapel Hill, 56-50 on Friday.
"We are blessed to have that kind of height at two positions," coach Mandi Simpson said. "Sometimes our guards just like to throw it to the other team instead of our posts. But they're trying. They post feed better than any team I've ever had. So I can't complain too much about that."
Jordan and Grant combined for 32 points and 14 rebounds. Gilmer held an advantage of 31-21 on the boards.
Gilmer (27-6, 7-2 District 15-4A) went into the third quarter with a 47-36 lead, but fouls and a late press from Chapel Hill allowed the Lady Bulldogs to fight back into the game.
Karla Duhon shot 14 free throws in the fourth quarter alone. She also came up with three of her four steals after Chapel Hill (17-13, 2-6) went to a press. She led the Lady Bulldogs with 16 points and eight rebounds.
The victory for Gilmer paired with a Kilgore victory against Bullard on Friday makes the Lady Buckeyes' next matchup loom large. If Gilmer can defeat Kilgore at 6: 15 p.m. Tuesday in its final game of the regular season, it would tie Bullard and Kilgore for first place in District 15-4A.
Chapel Hill will finish its season on the road at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Spring Hill.