By David Troppens
The Fenton varsity boys basketball team led the entire second half against the Brandon Blackhawks Tuesday night but for one moment.
That moment was the final score.
Brandon cut Fenton’s lead to just a point with 17 seconds left, and then scored the game-winning bucket on a 16-footer by Brandon’s Brad Mitchell at the buzzer earning the Blackhawks a 64-63 Flint Metro League crossover victory against the Fenton Tigers.
“In a nutshell, the game got extremely physical and pressy late in the game and we couldn’t get the ball up court,” Fenton varsity boys basketball coach Chad Logan said. “And we were not clean from the foul line. We were only 10-for-18 in the fourth quarter from the foul line. The kids have done a great job all year at the line, but that’s not an easy job to do — hit two key free throws late in the game with everyone watching.”
During the possession between the final two Blackhawks’ buckets, the Tigers turned the ball over when they were unable to get the ball beyond halfcourt within the allotted 10 seconds.
It was a close contest in the first half. The Tigers trailed 13-10 after one quarter, but a 25-point second quarter enabled the Tigers to take a 35-24 halftime lead. Seth Logan had a strong first half, nailing 6-of-8 field goals with three being three-pointers. He had 16 points at the half.
Brandon started whittling the lead in the third quarter, and had Fenton’s lead cut to 44-41 entering the final quarter.
The Tigers led 62-57 with 58.3 seconds left, but Brandon’s Noah Gillespie hit a three-pointer cutting the gap to 62-60. Fenton hit a free throw with 27.9 seconds left, raising the gap to 63-60. Brandon missed its initial shot on the next possession (a three-point airball), but the shot was rebounded and Brandon’s Drew Hickmott made a layup, cutting the gap to 63-62.
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The next possession was Fenton’s 10-second violation turnover, setting up the game-winning shot.
Logan finished the contest with a game-high 28 points while Ja’Hion Bond netted 15. Brandon was led by Mitchell’s 21 points while Gillespie scored 16 points. Brandon’s point total of 64 points was the highest the Tigers have allowed all season. In fact, the Tigers (5-2 overall and 2-1 in the Flint Metro League Stripes Division) have allowed at least 60 points three times this season, including in its last two contests.
Fenton travels to Linden for a pivotal Stripes Division contest on Friday at about 7 p.m.