Orioles survive thriller with Sherwood
On Monday, Nov. 27, the Concordia High School boys basketball team played host to the Sherwood High School Marksmen in a nonconference matchup. It came down to the wire in Concordia’s first home game of the regular season, but they pulled the win off in dramatic fashion, sinking the game-winning shot with five seconds left to beat the Marksmen 47-46.
After jumping ahead early and finishing the first quarter up by five points, the Orioles let SHS come back and take their own five-point lead into the half (31-26), although their first half lead was as big as nine points. Fans of defensive basketball in attendance were in for a third quarter treat, as each team only scored five points in the third, but offense returned in the fourth quarter and remained until the final whistle.
Two juniors, guard Matthew Gatewood and center Cameron Kelly, shouldered the load offensively in the second half. Held scoreless until a two-point third quarter, Gatewood found a way to get nine points on the board in the fourth, including the go-ahead basket with five seconds remaining. Kelly did his part in the fourth as well, adding seven points. The duo ended with 29 points, including all of CHS’s fourth quarter points and all but one of their second half points.
“When you hold a team to five points in the third quarter and 15 points in the last half, you have to be pretty happy with your team defense,” head coach Brent Cooper said. “I am very proud of these guys. They lost a lot of close games last year and it is nice to see them find a way to win a close game this year. That is what winners do — they find a way to win and play with composure during adversity.”
After a 15-point first half, SHS guard Nick Miles was contained by guards Cameron Cooper and Colby Stein. Cooper, a senior returning to action for the first time after a football injury sidelined him, and Stein, an athletic sophomore, held him to just two second half points while junior forward Tad Deatherage held SHS’s best big, Elijah Johnson, to seven points, of which only two came in the second half.
The victory improves the Orioles to 3-0 on the season, still awaiting their first conference game. For Sherwood, the loss drops them to 1-1.