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Hammond’s free throws key vs. CAI

Hammond’s free throws key vs. CAI
Hammond’s free throws key vs. CAI
As the final horn sounds, Lanesville's Jeffrey Hammond prepares to launch the ball toward the roof of Borden's gym, celebrating the Eagles' 58-54 win. (Photo by Brian Smith)

It took some prying, but when Lanesville took the lead midway through the second quarter against Christian Academy in the opening game of the Class A Borden Sectional Wednesday, the Eagles managed to hang on and thus move on.
CAI made four 3-pointers in the final 2:20, but solid Eagle free-throw shooting, including four consecutive made attempts by junior Jeffrey Hammond inside the final 40 seconds, proved to be enough. Lanesville survived for a 58-54 win backed by an impressive team performance.
‘Midway through the second quarter, we settled down and got some shots to start falling and attacked their zone a bit,’ said Lanesville coach Mikel Miller.
Lanesville opened with a skittish first quarter, turning the ball over on five occasions. The miscues led to CAI taking an early 9-2 advantage. The Warrior lead extended to 17-9 before Lanesville made its bid for the lead.
‘We did that our last game out in the first quarter,’ Miller said. ‘My assistant coaches thought it was jitters and stuff, but I thought it was bad basketball. Give them credit, they (CAI) came out fired up, ready to go.’
An 8-0 run, led by a pair of Jarrett Beach baskets tied the game at 18-all. The teams swapped baskets until Beach led another 6-0 Eagle spurt, giving the Eagles a 27-25 lead at the half.
Defensively, CAI came out of its zone and matched up man-to-man with the Eagles. Lanesville responded to the change with a third-quarter explosion. John Kissel and Tom Walter opened the second half with back-to-back buckets. Walker Horton extended the Eagles’ lead to 41-33 at the end of the third quarter with an offensive put-back.
Early in the final quarter, the CAI bench was whistled for a technical, putting Hammond at the line. His two free throws opened the Lanesville margin to 45-35.
In the closing 2:30, CAI went on a 3-point tear. Tyler Alexander drilled one, followed by J.T. Taylor banking one off the window. Taylor’s bank shot pulled CAI to within three, 50-47, with 1:35 left in the game.
Hammond then went back to work at the line, making another pair of free throws. Kissel followed the make by forcing a jump-ball situation, turning the ball back to the Eagles. After Beach made one of two free-throw attempts, CAI’s Taylor drilled a deep 3-pointer from the right side, cutting the lead back to three with 41 seconds left.
Hammond, who finished with 10 points, then made four consecutive at the line, pushing the lead to 57-51 until CAI struck again. This time Blake Adams hit a 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining. CAI came up with a quick steal, but mis-fired on another trey attempt.
‘Defensively, up until the last minute when they hit those 3s, we haven’t given Taylor a lot of open looks,’ Miller said. ‘(Starting 6-foot-7 center B.J.) Cadle, we were good on him; he didn’t even score. Alexander had a good game for them and Adams really stepped up.’
Taylor led the Warriors with 15 points, followed by 12 each from Mac Bruton and Adams.
Lanesville (12-8) used a balanced attack to throttle CAI (14-7). Nine different Eagles scored, including a double-double from Walter (12 points, 11 rebounds). Beach led the Eagles in scoring with 13 points.
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