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December 7, 2013

Working the late shift

Raiders grab momentum, win in final minutes

Trailing Christian Heritage School by three points with less than three minutes to play Friday night, Southeast Whitfield’s boys basketball team needed a play to grab the momentum from the Lions.

Chaz Payne gave it to them, scoring four points on one trip down the floor to set up a 64-60 win.

With the Raiders down 58-55, Payne scored in the post and was fouled with 2:43 remaining. He missed the free throw but got the rebound and scored to give Southeast a lead it wouldn’t give up.

“In that situation, you don’t really think that you are going to get your own miss,” Payne said. “You just go.”

The win completed a sweep for Southeast as the Lady Raiders took a 56-30 victory over an outgunned Lady Lions squad missing three players to illness and two to injuries.

From the start, the nightcap was a back-and-forth game with the teams seemingly matching each other basket for basket. Twice Christian Heritage led by four points, but that was the biggest lead of the first half. By the time the game was over, there had been six ties and 17 lead changes in the game.

“It felt like there were 170 lead changes,” first-year Southeast head coach Jim Case said. “Both teams played tough, and it was a hard-fought game all night long.”

Things stayed just as tense in the second half with the Raiders’ 39-34 lead after a Payne putback midway through the third quarter being the biggest lead of the night for either team.

But even then, Christian Heritage responded, going on a 6-0 spurt to re-take the lead. And back and forth it went until the ending.

Ty Pendley, who led the Raiders (3-3) with 18 points, garnered the full attention of the Christian Heritage defense in the fourth quarter, and Payne was able to find some room to work in the middle. Pendley’s runner in the paint fell for a 55-54 lead, but Andrew McEntyre broke the Southeast press for a layup and Jake Porter scored in the post to take a 58-55 lead.

That was when Payne hit his shot in the post and converted after the missed free throw.

“Not blocking out,” Christian Heritage coach Anthony Moseley said as his team suffered its first loss in three games. “There is no way a man should shoot a free throw and get the rebound. That should not happen.”

While Pendley was hurting the Lions early, other stepped up when Christian Heritage put constant man-to-man pressure on him. Payne scored 16, and Nick Stuard finished with 14.

“I think everyone is starting to realize what a scoring threat Ty is,” Payne said. “He is one of our better shooters, but we don’t have to rely on just one person, and even when they were concentrating on him, we didn’t completely let him fall out of the offense.”

In the girls game, four players scored eight points or more for Southeast (4-2), which led by 15 at the half and never was threatened by the Lady Lions.

Emily Beck led the Lady Raiders with 14, while Cricket Wyatt added 11. Serena Ramsey and Maddie Pearson combined for 17 points.

Sara Massengale led the Lady Lions (1-4) with 15 points.

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