FLEMING ISLAND - Fleming Island High’s boys basketball team stayed within bucket of taking out district 4-8A foe Bartram Trail High in Thursday night’s key clash, but the Bears knocked in a …
FLEMING ISLAND - Fleming Island High’s boys basketball team stayed within bucket of taking out district 4-8A foe Bartram Trail High in Thursday night’s key clash, but the Bears knocked in a buzzer-beater jumper from guard Darrius Garner to win 45-43.
The game bounced a possible district lineup jump by Fleming Island who returned to the hardwood after a 85-75 blowout win over Oakleaf on Tues., Jan. 16 at Oakleaf High School. Fleming Island had three scorers with 20-plus points; Sebastian Astor with 29, Josh Deleon with 23 and Gianfranco Grafals with 20 as the Golden Eagles lit up the fourth quarter scoreboard with a 36 point run to grab the victory.
The Bartram Trail win over Fleming Island on Thurs., Jan. 18 knots up the very rugged district 4-8A lineup with Creekside on top at 15-3, 4-1 in district play and Bartram Trail at 11-5, 4-2. Oakleaf and Fleming Island appear locked for either the third or fourth spot depending on upcoming games featuring the Knights and Bartram Trail on Tues., Jan. 23 and a final district game against Creekside on February 2.
Fleming Island must fight back to stay with a final district game against Creekside on January 25.
In their game with Bartram Trail, Fleming Island came out of the halftime lockers with a 22-20 deficit in front of them and immediately turned the tables with Zach Gagne hitting a jumper to tie the game and Gianfranco Grafals blocking a Bears’ shot that guard Christian Young converted to two points. A Sebastian Astor steal and feed to Josh Deleon pushed the Fleming Island lead to 26-22 in just three minutes to force a Bartram Trail timeout.
A second Astor-Deleon steal/layup put 28 points up for Fleming Island, but Garner started to find his sweet spot with a jumper and three pointer cashing in for five unanswered points for the Bears.
A jumper at the third quarter buzzer from center Tim Pish was a ominent foreshadow of things to come as Bartram Trail finished the third period up 37-34.
Both teams attacked at the halfcourt stripe to cause disruption in offensive flow and the score stayed close at 38-37 for Fleming Island behind two steals and layups from Grafals.
In the final five minutes, Fleming Island was trading free throws for three pointers as the Golden Eagle lead crept to 43-40 at 2:42 to go where the trap defense by Bartram Trail kept Fleming Island, with three turnovers, far from the basket for nearly two minutes.
With 5.5 second on the clock and BartramTrail holding momentum with the score locked at 43-43, Garner set up to the right of the Bears’ basket and drilled a jumper just inside the three point stripe to steal the game at the buzzer.