I’m going to begin this blog with an emphatic pat on my own back.
Really, I deserve it for picking such great games to cover all postseason long.
But tonight capped them all. In one second, Northside senior Jeremy Floyd provided the signature moment of the state basketball playoffs for the Bi-City area.
I could describe it, but it’s better if you just watch. Take a look:
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Need I say more?
Jenkins had the Patriots against the ropes for the majority of the game, leading by as many as nine points late in the third quarter. But Northside slowly clawed back into the game, tying it on two free throws from R.J. Sessions with just under a minute remaining in the game.
Fifty-seven heart-pounding seconds later, Floyd put up the game-winner as time expired, inciting a raucous dogpile at midcourt. Students completely ignored that whole GHSA rule about not entering the playing area once that shot hit bottom.
And why shouldn’t they?
It was without doubt the most exciting moment of the playoffs to date.
Sessions led Northside with 19 hard-fought points in the game, followed by Tay Sears’ 11 and Floyd’s 10.
In other less dramatic, but equally important news, Jordan High shook off some early jitters to run past Model for an 84-63 victory at home on Wednesday.
With the win, the Red Jackets advance to the semifinals for the second consecutive season, where they will face Bleckley County on Friday at Georgia College.
What it means: It means Northside has finally realized a goal it has been fighting to achieve for four years.
A group of seniors on the current roster played as freshmen, winning just five games. They improved as sophomores and made the state playoffs as juniors.
This season, coach Kenneth Lawrence said the team believed it had a shot to do something special.
It is in the final four, where it will take on Miller Grove on Saturday. That game will be the toughest of any the Patriots have had in the playoffs, but really — do we think they can’t do it anymore?
What we learned: We learned the Northside has a flair for theatrics and that it knows how to take a punch.
Jenkins came out swinging and limited Northside for much of the game. The Patriots, however, didn’t back down.
Lawrence said his goal for the game was for his team to hang around in the first half and give itself a chance to win late. That’s what it did, and it worked out perfectly.
From the Jordan game, we learned once again that Jordan is one of the most dangerous second-half teams in Class AA.
No, it didn’t play great in the first half on Wednesday, but that’s not a new trend.
Jordan normally comes out with a measured approach to its opponent, only to ramp things up in the second half.
It has made a successful season out of that strategy. Now, can it take the next step in the semifinals?
Best of the day: Jamar Sheppard scored 18 for Jordan, Sessions had 19 for Northside. But this day belonged to Floyd.
“I don’t know, man. I don’t know what to say. Speechless.” –Northside’s Jeremy Floyd just moments after hitting a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer
Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports for live updates from games, thoughts and predictions. Come back to the Valley Preps Blog for recaps and previews throughout the playoffs.