Peabody’s Roderick Tennie (13, left) guard’s ASH’s Christavious Gill (11, right) Friday. / Melinda Martinezfirstname.lastname@example.org
Third-ranked Peabody, despite an all-new lineup this season, got its biggest victory of the season, nipping second-ranked Alexandria Senior High, 54-53, in an instant classic at Peabody's overflowing Emerald Palace Friday night.
Sensational senior guard Christavious "Tay Tay" Gill of second-ranked Alexandria Senior High twice had chances to gives his team the victory in the waning moments and came up short both times.
D'vonte Tennie, one of only two seniors for third-ranked Peabody, but a guy who saw minimal playing time last year, came through like a veteran. He scored 23 points, none bigger than a turnaround jumper, just after a big offensive rebound. He somehow shot it around three defenders, arms raised, surrounding him, to give the defending state champs a 52-47 lead with 2:58 remaining.
Nonetheless, the senior-laden ASH team, which trailed by as much as nine points in the third period, staged a 6-0 run to pull ahead, 53-52. The Trojans did that even after senior center Shaan Washington (14 points) fouled out with 2:49 remaining.
They did so with help from some big rebounds by Cortavious Williams and Eddie Travis, who fouled out with 39.8 seconds remaining.
And they did so with Gill, who struggled much of the night, scoring four of his 17 points and then dishing a bounce pass to Williams for the go-ahead layup at 53-52.
Junior guard Gabriel Jordan of Peabody, who scored 17 points, hit two free throws to put Peabody back in front, and moments later picked off an errant ASH pass.
Yet, ASH had another chance.
Gill drove and missed a hanging jumper with 4.1 seconds left, and after a missed free throw by Peabody, he missed a half-court shot that bounced off the glass at the buzzer.
"I told someone before the game I hoped this would be the best high school basketball game that Alexandria has seen in a long, long time," said ASH coach Alan Tinsley, whose squad slipped to 22-4 overall and 4-1 in District 3-4A. "I don't know if it quite lived up to that, but I thought it was a hard-fought, well-played basketball game.