Cape Fear Christian Academy overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half for a 51-48 Sandhills Athletic Conference varsity boys basketball win over visiting Freedom Christian on Tuesday night.
Greg Moneymaker’s 3-pointer gave CFCA a 47-46 lead and Jamael Carter hit two free throws to extend the margin to 49-46 in the closing minute.
The Patriots were down 49-48 when Jayden Doyle drove for a possible go-ahead basket. His shot was blocked by CFCA’s Paul Tako.
Carter was fouled with 3.4 seconds remaining and his two free throws accounted for the final points. Freedom’s Manrique Alvarado missed a hurried shot from 28 feet at the buzzer.
“Defense in the second half was the key,” said Eagles assistant coach Dwain Ellis. “We were able to pressure the ball.”
CFCA outscored Freedom, 18-10, over the last eight minutes.
Ellis was the acting head coach with Kalen Eddings recovering from an illness. The coaching dynamic also marked the return to CFCA of J.D. Johnson, who coached the Eagles last season. Johnson is now an assistant coach to Brandon Clifford at Freedom.
Eddings visited with the team via Facetime following the game.
Carter had 16 points as CFCA improved to 14-10 overall and 4-5 in the league. Jeremyah McWilliams added 12 points. Paul Tako scored nine and Moneymaker finished with eight. Parker Watson and Silla Tako each had three points.
Watson played for the first time in his senior season after rehabilitating from knee surgery faster than medical personnel at Duke expected. He connected from beyond the arc on his first shot attempt of 2019-20 in the first half. He and Moneymaker played for Johnson last year.
Paul Tako had seven rebounds. Carter had six rebounds and two steals.
Alvarado hit four threes in the first half and led Freedom (18-9, 4-5) with 18 points. Aymeric Toussaint had 12 points for the visitors. Bosko Milahovic and Doyle had nine points each.
Freedom had beaten the Eagles, 49-29, at home on Jan. 10.
Girls win easily on ‘Shenior Night’
The boys had Senior Night on Friday and the girls celebrated their occasion by topping Freedom, 63-25.
Senior players Kristen Bass and Meghan Taylor were recognized before the game along with their fellow senior cheerleaders Jolie Hensley, Averie Stephens and Alexandria West.
Junior Zykia Matthews had 19 points to lead the Lady Eagles. Kristen Bass and Talisha McNeill each had nine points.
Eighth-grader Ella John Dupree started at point guard, which allowed CFCA coach Bobby Lamb to move Kristen Bass to shooting guard.
Dupree had seven points. Meredith Taylor had six points. Trinity Olive and Aubree Bass scored four points each. Melissa Marte had three points and Meghan Taylor scored two.
“This team has a lot of potential,” Lamb said. “E.J. played great at the point.”
Brock scores 32
The CFCA junior varsity boys lost, 63-55, despite 32 points from Zeke Brock. Deshawn Woods had 16 in the setback. Barrett Raynor tallied three points. David Okropiridze and Reid Miller finished with two points each.
CFCA hosts Trinity Christian of Fayetteville on Friday night.