It’s often a good night when a college team hits eight 3-pointers. It’s a great night when a high school team hits eight treys.
But a middle school team hitting that many? When middle school games are only 24 minutes long?
Consider that an epic night.
That was the case for Anthony Middle School when it shot lights out from the perimeter in a 38-36 victory against rival Eisenhower Middle School on Monday night for the Little Apple Boys’ eighth grade basketball championship.
Anthony’s Gabe Awbrey scored 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter alone and made the game-winning basket off a nicely placed pass under the bucket with 5 seconds remaining on Eisenhower’s home court.
Awbrey nailed three of Anthony’s long distance shots. Grant Munsen added eight points — including two more 3-pointers — for the Tornadoes.
Brandon Religa led the way for the Eisenhower with 14 points and teammate Arvionte Nichols scored 11.
“That was pretty good, wasn’t it?,” Anthony head coach Luke Snyder said. “(Eisenhower) has fantastic athletes and they are a headache to try and stop on defense.”
Snyder said timing was key for his team’s perimeter shooting, as the Tornadoes hit four of their eight 3s in the fourth quarter.
“We got hot at the right time,” Snyder said. “That’s probably the most 3-pointers we’ve shot all year — it’s probably the most we’ve made all year.
“But our guys stepped up. It’s not always how you draw it up, but when it goes into the hoop, that’s what you want.”
The Eagles held the lead most of the game, including a 9-0 advantage to start the game. Eisenhower grew the deficit 15-7, but back-to-back 3-pointers made it a one-possession game going into halftime with the Tornadoes trailing 16-13.
Still, Eisenhower was able to regain a comfortable 22-17 lead in the final minutes of the third quarter, but Anthony kept attacking with the long ball and a 3-pointer from Awbrey with 2 minutes left gave the Tornadoes their first lead of the game.
It was a lead Anthony wouldn’t give back.
“We knew they had good shooters and they proved it tonight,” EMS coach Kable Smith said. “They’re a great shooting team, and quite frankly, they went out there, played hard and at the end of the day, they deserved to win with the great shooting they had from outside.”
ANTHONY 38, EMS 36
Anthony 4 9 7 18 — 38
Eisenhower 9 7 9 11 — 36
ANTHONY (38) — Awbrey 13, Munsen 8, Davis 6, Holen 6, Francis 3, Harms 2.
EISENHOWER (36) — Religa 14, Nichols 11, Mallett 7, Lambert 3, Johnson 1.
3-pointers — Anthony 8 (Awbrey 3, Munsen 2, Holen 2, Francis).