A tough season came to a bitter end Thursday as the Faith boys basketball team nearly upset Eddy, but fell short, 41-38, in the final minutes of the opening round of the Muscogee County School District playoffs.
Faith (1-12) held a 32-26 lead going into the fourth quarter, but failed to put away Eddy (8-4) and earn what would have been the school’s first playoff win.
Dinero McDonald had 10 points, Carlos Taylor had nine and Marquis Fordham had eight to lead the Warriors, who were well balanced on offense throughout the game as seven different players scored.
But no one had an answer for Eddy guard Kenjerald Jordan, who finished with 23 points and helped the Generals rally in the fourth. Just as Faith appeared to be distancing itself on the scoreboard, Jordan hit a much-needed 3-pointer to give Eddy some momentum. Jordan then made a steal minutes later that gave Eddy a 34-32 lead with three minutes to play.
Faith struggled offensively in the fourth after Eddy applied a full-court press, but the Warriors managed to tie the game at 38 with less than a minute to play.
Faith’s Tavis Hill made a steal near midcourt that should have given the Warriors an easy layup and the lead, but the ball slipped away from Hill, who saved it from going out of bounds, but not before allowing Eddy to set itself defensively.
“That was a tough break for us,” Faith coach Karl Ivey said. “We hoped he would’ve made it, but I think the excitement of the steal got to him.”
Faith had several offensive rebounds during the possession but came up empty, and Jordan scored in transition on the other end. Eddy added a free throw to gain a three-point advantage, and the Warriors never got another shot off.
Ivey said it wasn’t the first time this season a close game didn’t end in their favor, but was proud of his team’s resiliency.
“We showed a lot of character in playing hard until the end,” he said. “We had a rocky start, but the finish tonight made it a great season for us. We had a lot of tough breaks toward the end but we worked hard throughout the season.”
Faith was the 12th seed in the tournament, and Eddy was seeded fifth. In the regular-season meeting, Eddy beat Faith by 18 points and Ivey said not many thought Thursday’s game would be close.
“I saw a lot of toughness tonight,” Ivey said. “They didn’t back down. (Eddy) was probably already looking forward to Saturday. We gave them everything we had down the stretch.”
The Faith Lady Warriors also lost in the first round of the playoffs to East Columbus, 50-17. Faith was seeded 13th, and East Columbus was seeded fourth. The Lady Warriors also finished the season 1-12.