Down 18-8 late in the first quarter it looked like the Freedom Eagles, who had already clinched the regular season crown in the Potomac, might not have the incentive to give it their all against John Champe Friday night.
However pride is pride, especially against a rival, and Freedom has taken great pride in its season. So, after calling a time out the Eagles upped the intensity on defense, star guard senior Zyan Collins started rolling, and that was that. The final result was a 67-54 victory for the Eagles.
Collins finished with 18 points for Freedom, while fellow senior guard Jeremy Cofield added 16. The Eagles started attacking the rim much better after the timeout, with Collins tying the game at 26 in the second quarter on an old-fashioned three-point play on a drive. The game remained tied at the half but Freedom gradually extended its lead in the third quarter. Once the Knights got down they started to rush perimeter shots and soon found themselves down well into double digits.
While meaningless for the Eagles in the standings it was a big win for the home team nonetheless. Champe had not lost a game on the court in over two weeks and Freedom was playing without star center Hunter Oakford, who suffered a minor injury in his last game. Oakford will be available next week for districts, but the victory without him showcased the Eagles’ depth. Sophomore guard Robbie Kemmerer was one of a few Eagles who stepped up off the bench–his eight first half points helped his team gain momentum.
But it was Freedom’s defense that won the day. Champe star sophomore Tyler Savage hit his first three shots early but only made three of his next sixteen attempts thereafter. He finished with 14 points to lead the Knights though it didn’t come easy. Nor did any of the Knights’ points after the first quarter–the Eagles were able to hold Champe to 25% shooting from the field in the second half.
Freedom will be the number one seed in next week’s Potomac District Tournament.
all stats are unofficial
|Threes: Ryan 2-5, Savage 1-5, Young 1-1, Arbore 1-8, Garmon 0-1, Easter 0-2, Burdick 0-2|
|Threes: Gondy 1-1, Shrestha 1-2, Cofield 0-2, Green 0-2, Kemmerer 0-1|