GREEN COVE SPRINGS - Fleming Island High point guard Colton Zapp hit a three pointer with two minutes left in a thrilling come-from-behind win for the Golden Eagles who held on to the 60-59 gap to …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS - Fleming Island High point guard Colton Zapp hit a three pointer with two minutes left in a thrilling come-from-behind win for the Golden Eagles who held on to the 60-59 gap to beat Clay High 62-59 Friday night at Clay High School.
Fleming Island guard Antoine Sandy had four key offensive rebounds to layups that fueled a Golden Eagle second half surge after a disastrous first half.
“We just never doubted ourselves about getting back into the game after getting down by so much,” said Zapp, who finished as top scorer with 20 points with three threes. “Coach just told us to get one basket at a time and play defense.”
Zapp and the rest of the Golden Eagle second half comeback had to overtake a first quarter barrage; 14-5, by Clay, led by point guard Tre Griner’s slashing drives to the basket, that led to a 32-25 halftime gap to go to the lockers befuddled by the Blue Devil pace.
“They definitely ignited themselves in the atmosphere that was here,” said Fleming Island coach Traavis Chandler. “It’s a big rivalry game and we knew they had athletes that would test our pace of the game. We settled down in the second half, played through their press and got some bounces.”
With Gavin Rayes hitting the first three-pointer of the second half, the Fleming Island team seemed fueled by the shot and started to command some court presence behind Ahman Greenidge battling with Clay’s Valdez Asbell underneath and Griner matching shots with Zapp on the perimeter.
Still down 47-39 as the fourth quarter started, Chandler sensed a change of momentum.
“We hit two threes to end the third and that got us rolling,” said Chandler, noting Zapp and Rayes both delivering at the end of the third stanza.
In the final seven minutes of play, guard Antoine Sandy emerged as the pivotal player for Fleming Island with offensive rebounds to layups keeping the Golden Eagles scoring intact.
“He had a great finish,” said Chandler, of Sandy. “I think he got caught up by the atmosphere of the night and I challenged him to step up because we needed a third shooter to come alive.”
Sandy stole a Griner pass at 4:40 that led to a Greenidge offensive rebound and layup and a 51-50 Clay lead before D’Maurion Frazier and Griner hit jumpers to keep the Golden Eagle at bay at 55-52 with 2:45 to go.
Two missed shots by Fleming Island got a third shot from Sandy off an offensive rebound plus a foul shot that tied the game at 55-55.
From there, Zapp hit his go-ahead three to 58-57 for Fleming Island before Sandy sealed the game off a layup with 12 seconds on the clock.