LAUREL HILL — In what might have been a symbolic changing of the guard, Laurel Hill School sophomore Cameron Gordon hit a 3-point basket with 19 seconds left in Friday to give the Hoboes a 52-49 win over Rocky Bayou Christian School.
“Cameron Gordon, wow, he came off the bench there at the end and he stepped up,” Hobo Coach Kent Zessin said. “He played JV all year and we just brought him up. He’s one of my better shooters.”
Prior to the game Josh Hartzog, Lane Strickland, Travis Johnson and William Rorech were honored in a Senior Night ceremony.
Rocky Bayou spent the next 32 minutes trying spoil the regular season home finale for the Hobo seniors.
Josh Bryant, Chris Matthews, Josh Preston and Kyle Wilson each scored for Rocky Bayou in the first five minutes of play. The only Laurel Hill points in the first five minutes came on a pair of Strickland free throws as the Knights jumped in front 8-2.
A Strickland dunk with 2:01 left in the quarter cut the Knight lead to 8-4. Laurel Hill (16-8) trailed by at least four points until late in the fourth quarter.
Zessin thought there were a number of factors that contributed to Laurel Hill’s sluggish play including Senior Night and missing several days of practice because of the ice storm.
“It was a combination of everything,” he said. It was just one of those nights. It’s hard to explain.
‘Our shooting percentage had to be under 20 for the night. We couldn’t throw in the ocean in the first half. It could have gotten ugly, but the defense kept us in it.
The Hoboes were unable to wrestle the lead from the Knight, but Laurel Hill was stayed within striking distance.
Rocky Bayou pushed the lead to nine points on several occasions, but was unable to get the lead to double digits.
The Knights’ lead was nine at 43-34 with 5:41 left in the game after free throw by Kyle Wilson.
A Hartzog free throw trimmed a point off the Rocky lead and triggered a 13-4 Hobo run.
Bryson Cooper scored on a layup on an assist from Hartzog after a steal and the Hoboes were off and running. Cooper, Hartzog, Strickland and Max Smith all scored during the run.
Tee Calloway hit two free throws with 1:48 left in the fourth quarter to give the Hoboes their first lead of the night at 49-48.
Twenty-one seconds later Bryant hit a free throw to tie the game at 49-49 setting up the heroics by Gordon.
Gordon’s game-winning 3-pointer was the only shot from beyond the arch the Hoboes hit in the game.
As seniors Hartzog, Strickland Rorech and Johnson left the home court for the last time in the regular season Gordon showed why the future looks bright for the Hoboes.
Strickland led the Hoboes with 21 points. Cooper and Hartzog each scored nine. Smith had six points, Calloway four and Gordon three.
The Hoboes open play in the District 1-1A tournament at 7 p.m. Tuesday when they host Bethlehem.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.