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By David Sharp
Atlanta (24-4, Ranked fourth in Missouri Boys Class 1) had five players score in double figures, keying a 70-50 win over Brashear (16-13) in the February 24, 2023 Class 1, District 11 boy’s championship game at La Plata.
Brashear finished the season on a high note, winning seven of their last nine games. Seniors Lucas Keller, Alex Houghton, Avery Zentz and Landon Fisher played their final basketball games for Brashear.
Atlanta scored the first eight points. Brashear battled back with a 7-0 run to an 8-7 score on Jack Reeves bucket with 1:53 to play in the first period. The Hornets came right back with an 8-0 run of their own.
Atlanta led 15-7 after the first period of play. JJ White tossed in a Hornet three ball for a 29-19 edge with 2:20 remaining in the first half. The Hornets held an 11-5 turnover advantage in the first half.
Hot three shooting along with an 18-8 turnover edge played a big part in the final outcome. Atlanta led 32-23 at halftime. Nelson Cooper capped an 8-2 Hornet run for a 49-29 lead with 2:29 to play in the third quarter.
Landon Gilliland extended the run to 12-2 for a 53-29 advantage with 1:04 to go in the third quarter. The Hornets led 53-33 after three quarters. Carson Erwin scored the last two field goals of the third quarter.
Jack Reeves drove for a field goal and a 68-48 deficit with 1:38 to play in the game. Landon Gilliland led all scorers with 19 Hornet points. Mason Reed fired in 13 points. Grady Hruska scored 12 points. JJ White scored 11 and Roman Phillips tallied ten points.
Jack Reeves led three Tigers in double figures with 14 points. Cole Erwin tossed in 13 points. Carson Erwin scored ten points. Avery Zentz put in seven points. Lucas Keller added six Tiger points.
“Taking care of the basketball and getting out and running on their missed shots was huge for us,” Atlanta coach Jason White said. “That is our bread and butter. We sometimes struggle against teams when we don’t get to get out and run as much.”
“I thought we did a great job of challenging shots. We missed a few rebounds, but for the most part we got the rebound down and got out on the floor and attacking the basket,” Jason White said.
Brashear played in a boy’s district championship game for the first time in 14 seasons. “They shot the ball well,” Brashear coach Shelbi Followwill said. “I felt like we came back a couple of times. They came back with a three.”
“I felt like we held Roman (Phillips) to his career low, or pretty dang close to it at least. It was our goal to shut him down. We can’t be in ten places at once,” Shelbi Followwill said.
“Their guards are good. They knocked down shots. Landon Fisher, Alex Houghton, Lucas Keller and Avery Zentz are our four seniors. They have been absolutely amazing to help us build the program in the two years I have been here,” Coach Followwill said.
“They have set the ground work for not just the next couple of years. They have younger brothers and kids that look up to them.”
“They knocked down shots in the half court. They got transition and we didn’t.”