Alcoa gets win on the line, 73-70
By Grant Ramey | (email@example.com)
For the first 29 minutes of regulation, William Blount and Alcoa went back and forth on the basketball floor.
For the final three minutes, and the four minutes of overtime that followed, the teams went back and forth on the free throw line.
Alcoa made six free throws in overtime, scoring 13 of its final 15 points in total from the line, to hold off a scrappy William Blount effort on the Govs’ Senior Night, and keep rolling with a 73-70 overtime win.
“Our kids were resilient,” Alcoa coach Tony Jones said. “You’ve got to give William Blount a lot of credit. They came in and pretty much dictated the flow of the game with their ability to hit shots.”
Kenny Dean led Alcoa (14-10) with a game-high 26 points and Peyton Wall added 13. Cody Mathis led the Govs (8-21) with 18 points, Jaden Bailey had 17 and Joel Graham scored 12.
Dean and Nick Miller hit one of two from the line, both after collecting offensive rebounds off the other’s missed shot, in the final 10 seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime.
“Late, at that point in time, it’s about buckling down and getting it done,” WB coach Kevin Windle said. “Unfortunately, we were unable to make a couple plays when we needed to.”
Mathis made one of two from the stripe to start overtime for William Blount before Dean and Malik Love put Alcoa up 69-66 with two free throws apiece.
Alcoa’s Brenden Teeter hit a field goal with just under four minutes left in the game to cut the WB lead down to 54-52.
After that, it was all free throws.
From there the two teams scored 20 combined points from the free throw line without either team hitting a shot from the field.
A Bailey field goal with under two minutes left in overtime broke up the charity streak.
“They missed free throws at the end,” Jones said. “We could’ve put the game at the end, also.”
Alcoa made 21 of 31 attempts and William Blount made 22 of 31 — giving the two teams a total of 43 points on 62 free throw attempts.
William Blount took a 29-27 lead on a Mathis 3-point bucket in the final minute of the first half, a lead the Govs wouldn’t give up until the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, when Teeter tied the game at 62-all on a pair of free throws.
“I just feel sorry for these seniors who fought and believed, scrapped and just played their hearts out,” Windle said. “Not for themselves, for the team, for the community, for the school, for the coaching staff. They’ve played so hard, and they deserved to win this game. They deserved win. Sometimes the basketball gods don’t see it that way.
“We’re going to keep getting better. We’re going to keep fighting.”
Wall scored all 13 of his points in the second half. Dean had 9 of his 26 in the fourth quarter and overtime.
“It’s a win,” Jones said, “thats five in a row and 12 out of the last 16.
“We’re playing really, really good basketball and I’m looking forward to our game tomorrow against Maryville.”
ALCOA 73, WILLIAM BLOUNT 70
A 14 13 19 19 8 — 73 WB 17 15 20 13 5 — 70
ALCOA (14-10): Kenny Dean 26, Drenden Teeter 15, Peyton Wall 13, Niko White 6, Malik Love 5, Jordan Ferguson 4, Daniel Brimer 2, Kyle Mitchell 2.
WILLIAM BLOUNT (8-21): Cody Mathis 18, Jaden Bailey 17, Joel Graham 12, Taylor DeArmond 9, Austin Haworth 8, Reed Daniels 5, Josh Rohn 1.
3-POINTERS: Alcoa 8 (Dean 3, Wall 2, White 2, Love 1); William Blount 8 (Mathis 4, DeArmond 1, Bailey 1, Daniels 1, Haworth 1)