Madisonville, TN – The Alice Lloyd College Eagles traveled to Madisonville (TN) to face the home-standing Hiwassee College Tigers in the semi-final round of the NCCAA Mideast Regional Men’s Basketball Tournament. The contest saw the Eagles fall in a deep hole before making a comeback. Unfortunately, the hosts managed to preserve their lead and prevail in the end, 95-84.
In the opening half, the two squads battled early as both traded buckets for the first part of the stanza. ALC got solid play from senior guard Ryan House during this stretch.
However, sparked by the play off the bench from Loenzo Gaitling, the Tigers began to creep ahead.
Leading 20-18, Hiwassee would close the half on a 23-14 run. When the buzzer sounded for intermission, the home team would enter the locker-room holding a 43-32 advantage.
In the second half, ALC would fall behind by seventeen points (51-34) and looked to be in serious trouble. Enter junior Ian Lee. The guard would come off the Alice Lloyd bench and promptly drill 3 consecutive long-range bombs to spark an 11-2 blitz. Suddenly, the score read 53-45.
Unfortunately, HC would answer. The Tennessee club would get several big buckets from Gaitling which sparked a resurgence from Hiwassee. After a flurry of action, the Tigers lead was suddenly at its zenith, (77-57) with under ten minutes remaining
The junior duo of guard Blake Smith and forward Chance Cornett would then attempt to lead the Caney Creek club on a miracle comeback. The twosome would combine to score nineteen points in a big run that would bring their club within single digits (89-80). Unfortunately, the Tigers would shut the door from the foul line as they managed to preserve the lead and pull out the win.
For Alice Lloyd, which concludes the 2018-19 campaign with a 13-18 record, four players would reach double digits. Cornett would finish with 20 points (9-14 FG’s). Smith was right behind with 19 points (7-10 FG’s) and added 2 assists. Lee bagged 7-14 field goals (5-11 trifectas) to finish with 19 points of his own and led the squad with 6 rebounds.
House concluded his career with 11 points while fellow senior, forward Simon Christon, chipped in with 4 points in his final game. Sophomore guard Noah Young added 2 assists.
The Eagles finished the night shooting an outstanding 58.2% (32-55) from the field including 42.9% (9-21) from behind the arc. They sank 68.8% (11-16) from the charity stripe and added 24 rebounds and 5 assists.
HC (13-15) was led by Gaitling with 20 points. His squad shot 50% (33-66) from the field and 36% (9-25) from deep. They finished at 74.1% (20-27) from the charity stripe and added 25 rebounds and 19 assists.