Jacob Keefauver shoots against the CAK defense in boys' 60-43 loss.
Autumn Bradshaw was on “Cloud Nine” after her steal and last-second basket lifted the Daniel Boone girls to a most improbable win over Christian Academy of Knoxville in the opening game of Saturday’s Roundball at the Palace.
Down by 17 points at the end of one quarter and by eight points with three minutes to go, but the Lady ’Blazers rallied to come away with a 59-58 victory at the new Science Hill Gymnasium.
For Bradshaw, the shot in the lane marked her first-time hitting a game-winner.
“Oh my gosh,” said Bradshaw, still estatic minutes after the game. “I’ve hit buzzer-beaters, but not to win a game. I’m just so happy my team got this win. If it wasn’t for 12 (Allison Littleton) and her lay-up before, I wouldn’t have even hit a buzzer-beater. It was definitely a team win, but I’m on Cloud Nine. I’ve never done that before.”
For the most of the contest, it was Jaclyn Jenkins who spearheaded the Boone comeback.
The sophomore forward had a career-high 31 points as the Lady ’Blazers improved to 8-5 on the season.
She said the key was Boone’s refusal to give up. No one was a better example of that than herself. Down by a dozen (36-24) at halftime, Jenkins had back-to-back scores to start the third quarter.
Still down by seven to start the final period, Jenkins again had back-to-back scores and Littleton added a pair of free throws to cut the margin to a single point. Jenkins eventually tied the game with 48 seconds left before the dramatic finish.
“We kept coming at them and smacking them in the face,” Jenkins said. “Then, we got back on defense and took two charges. That picked us up some and we kept going at them.”
Anna Hammaker, daughter of ETSU Hall of Famer and former Major League Baseball All-Star Atlee Hammaker, scored 18 points for CAK (5-5).
A turning point came with 2:09 to play when she was whistled for her fifth foul on a charge. The Lady Warriors didn’t score again until Brianna Bryant made a pair of free throws with 33 seconds left. Bryant also finished with 18 points for CAK, and Kaycee Weitzman added 10 points.
Like his players, Boone coach Travis Mains credited his girls’ never give up attitude as the reason they finally prevailed.
“We slowly started chipping away at it,” Mains said. “If you get that momentum in basketball it’s a crazy thing. We outplayed them from the middle of second quarter until the end of the game and we were rewarded for our efforts.”
Daniel Boone 43
There was no miracle comeback for the Boone boys (7-5) against the Warriors (5-5).
Ahead 29-24 at the half, CAK outscored the Trailblazers 21-10 in the third quarter. From there, the Warriors held a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Oteriah Lee and Dylan Keck scored 14 points apiece to lead the Warriors.
Dillon Reppart had 23 points and Alex Percell added 13 for the ’Blazers in the loss .
Most troubling for Boone head coach Ryan Arnold was the fact only seven points were scored by the rest of the team.
“As a team, we’re not playing up to our potential,” Arnold said. “You can’t rely on one person to score all your points. Percell had a good night and that was one positive, but we’re struggling right now. We have to start to knock down open shots, make the free throws and do the little things.”