Hope Christian boys lose heartbreaker

Hope's Christian Bridgewater looks for a pass in a Jan. 16 matchup with Hope Academy of Talladega. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

Hope’s Christian Bridgewater looks for a pass in a Jan. 16 matchup with Hope Academy of Talladega. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

HOMEWOOD — For the first 23 minutes of their matchup with Hope Academy of Talladega, the Hope Christian School Eagles controlled the game, leading by as many as 12 at one point.

Unfortunately, the 24th minute proved to be the difference, as the visiting Eagles used a miraculous comeback to stun HCS in the final seconds, taking a 59-56 win.

HCS raced out to a 9-0 lead courtesy of Josiah Drew and Jacob Evans. Hope-Talladega closed the game with a 6-0 run of its own, before two Drew 3-pointers gave HCS a 15-6 lead. Hope-Talladega followed with a two-point field goal before another Drew basket gave HCS a 17-8 lead.

The visitors then went on a seven point run close the quarter, bringing the score to 17-15 after one.

HCS started off the second quarter like it closed the first one — with another Drew basket. After a basket and free throw pulled Hope-Talladega within one point at 19-18, HCS sharp-shooter Micah Mojica took over.

Mojica swished a three to put the Eagles up, 22-18, and Nick Adams followed with a three of his own. Hope-Talladega once again closed with three points, but Mojica netted another three. In all, Mojica sank four 3-point shots to help give the Eagles a 39-29 lead at the half.

Following the intermission, Hope-Talladega went on a 6-0 run to bring the score to 39-35. Adams then sank a three to increase the lead to seven, but Hope-Talladega used a 7-2 run to close the gap to 44-42 at the end of the third quarter.

HCS’s offense kicked off the final quarter by scoring with an apparent sense of urgency, as Davis, Evans and Drew took control. A 10-4 run ensued, capped off by another Davis three.
With a 56-46 lead late in the fourth, it appeared that Hope Christian had put the game away. The visiting Eagles had other plans, however, as Hope-Talladega reeled off seven unanswered points to pull within three points with 1:45 left on the clock. Just 30 seconds later, Hope-Talladega sank a huge 3-pointer to tie the game.

With :37 left on the clock, a breakaway basket gave the visitors the lead, and a free throw with seven seconds left sealed the win.

Stats were unavailable at press time, and HCS will face EFCA on Jan. 20.