Three CCSD teams and one Tennessee team met at Buccaneer Arena on Saturday, December 28, 2019 to decide which two teams would head to the finals and which two would head to the consolation game on Monday evening. Kennesaw Mountain, Allatoona, and Walton were the CCSD teams, and Evangelical Christian was the Tennessee team.
The Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs and the Evangelical Christian Eagles took to the court first. The Mustangs scored the opening points in a classic back and forth game, and a quick tempo one that included a lot of transition offense and defense. The Eagles took a one-point lead to end the first quarter (12-13), and the Mustangs owned a two-point lead at halftime, 30-28. A 13-11 third quarter for the Mustangs gave them a four-point lead at the end of three quarters, but the Eagles weren’t ready to go away just yet. A 22-point fourth quarter for the Eagles was the swing they needed to win the game, 57-61. The win put the Eagles into the final game, with the Mustangs heading to the consolation game.
The Walton Raiders took on the host-team Allatoona Buccaneers next to determine which team would meet the Eagles in the final game. It was a classic chess match, with neither team gaining any dominance over the other. Each team threw a lot of offensive and defensive looks at each other, looking for holes. The first quarter ended in a tie (10-10), as did the second (17-17). Coach Phillips took his Bucs to the locker room, while Coach Abney chose to leave his Raiders on the court for the halftime break.
The adjustments for both teams seemed to be equally effective, as both teams produced the same scoring in the third as they did in the entire first half. The third quarter ended with the Raiders up one point, 34-33. Tensions flared in the stands during the fourth quarter for a no-call that fans on both sides thought should have been a technical against the opposite team. The competition on the court got a bit heated at times as well. Walton came within a point with less than minute to play in the game, but the Bucs were not to be denied, taking a three-point lead with 20 seconds left to play. Walton made two unsuccessful three-point attempts, as the Bucs snatched the rebound and a foul to secure the win with a couple of foul shots to end the game, 42-47.
Coach Phillips was happy with the win, but gave credit to Walton for playing a tight game. “Walton did a great job executing everything they needed to execute. They hunted the tempo and slowed the game down on us, but our boys found a way to win. Our team was resilient, and that’s what we’ve been trying for and looking for this season.”
Walton will play Kennesaw Mountain in the consolation game on Monday at 4:30 PM, and Allatoona will play the Evangelical Eagles in the final game of the tournament at 6:00 PM.