EAST ARCADIA — Antioch Christian Academy of Lumberton rallied from a halftime deficit to knock off Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy on Thursday, 56-54, and remain perfect on the season.
The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 3-2.
The two teams battled to a 10-10 knot through the first quarter of play, with Gary Mason pacing the ‘Dawgs with nine points, but Paul R. Brown caught first in the second stanza and outscored the Gators by a 20-14 margin and took a 30-24 advantage into the intermission.
T.J. Smith poured in 10 points for Paul R. Brown in the third quarter, but Antioch used an 18-12 run through the third quarter to tie things up at 42-42 going into the fourth frame.
The two teams all but traded points through the last quarter and, with just seven seconds left, the Gators held a 56-54 edge but missed a free throw and Paul R. Brown grabbed the rebound. Two quick passes up the court gave the Bulldogs a chance with two seconds left — but nothing materialized and Antioch took the slim win.
“We had a chance, but I think we ran out of gas,” Bulldogs coach Ken Cross said. “We hung in there, we battled and we didn’t give up — but we only had six players and they (Antioch) were a pretty beefy team.
“I was happy to see how we bounced back after the big loss (against New Life),” he added. “What I didn’t like was all the free throws we missed. We can’t shoot 6-of-20 and expect to win, especially close games.”
Smith, who poured in four three-pointers for Paul R. Brown, led the Bulldogs with 19 points. Mason followed with 16 points behind three three-pointers, while Mykell McKoy pulled down 15 rebounds and had five blocked shots.
Paul R. Brown is now 3-2 this season and will play a return game against Antioch on Friday, Jan. 19, in Lumberton.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.