BRISTOL — Tennessee High was tied with Christ School with two seconds left in the game.
One second later, the Vikings trailed by three.
The Arden, N.C., school pulled out a 55-52 victory over the Vikings on Friday night in first round of the Arby’s Classic at Viking Hall. Tennessee High’s Zak Kitzmiller missed a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“The effort was fantastic,” said Vikings’ head coach Roby Witcher. “Everybody who started and everybody who came off the bench; they weren’t nervous at all. They all reacted positively and did what they needed to do.”
In other first-round games, Milton, Ga., had a surprisingly easy time with Urspring, Germany in a 68-51 decision.
In the late games, Christ Presbyterian Academy battled Gate City, Va.; and Peachtree Ridge took on United Faith Christian.
In the consolation bracket, Sullivan South overcame a halftime deficit and defeated Sullivan East 57-38.
Action continues today, including four quarterfinal contests that begin at 5 p.m.
Tennessee High and Christ School were tied at 52-52, and the Greenies were holding for the last shot. They got the ball inside to John Caldwell, who scored and got fouled. He made the free throw.
“We were in man to man, and we knew what was coming,” said Witcher. “We knew they would try to penetrate. They did, and then threw it into the big one in the paint.
“We called timeout and drew up play with one second from 94 feet away. That’s a tough one, but we got exactly what we wanted. Kitzmiller’s shot hit the back of the rim.”
Witcher said he believes his team grew despite the loss.
“They were 6-7, 6-6 and 6-10 with a quick point guard and a good two guard,” said Witcher. “Their starting five was as good as any we play.”
Caldwell led the Greenies with 15 points while Alec Wnuk totaled 14 points. Will Buckner finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Tennessee High got 12 points form James Shuff.
Not expected to be a major player in the Arby’s title chase, the Eagles turned some heads with a dominant win over the German team.
Milton — which broke open a tight game by outscoring Urspring 19-10 in the third quarter — placed four players in double figures, led by Zach Hodskins with 15 points. Chris Lewis added 14 points, nine rebounds and swatted away six shots. Teammate DaQuain Watts totaled 13 points while Jordan Burrow chipped in with 11.
Christian Sengfelder led Urspring with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Zaire Thompson dropped in five trey balls and finished with 17 points.
Sullivan South 57
Sullivan East 38
Things were looking good for the Patriots as they built a 29-24 halftime lead. Scoring only nine points in the second half changed things quite dramatically.
Christian Comsa led the Rebels with 16 points, hitting 7 of 11 shots from the field while totaling seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
Will Blair added 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Dalton Light contributed 13 points and six rebounds.
East got a strong effort from Anthony Vanhoy, who finished with 14 points. His teammates combined to hit only 8 of 28 shots from the field, and East was outrebounded by a whopping 37-15 margin.
Gate City 40
Braxton Blackwell had 22 points and 18 rebounds to lead a trio of double-digit scorers as the Lions beat the Blue Devils.
Jake Allmiller had 20 points and Braxton Bonds had 16. CPA led 21-11 after one quarter and 31-23 at the break.
Dylan Jenkins led Gate City with 10 points.
Peachtree Ridge 54
United Faith 53
Augustin Aaron scored 18 points and the Lions rallied from a halftime deficit to beat the Falcons in Friday’s late game.
Ty Gadsen scored 22 and Mabson Nehemiah had 11 points and 12 rebounds for United Faith, which led 24-18 at the break.