Flight opened the game by reeling off 21 straight points, then cruised to another victory over Crown, on Senior Night in Sandy Springs. Keon alternated shooting long-range jumpers with driving, scooping lay-ups to the scoring with 26, and DJ played an all-around brilliant game, adding 17 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals, a blocked shot, and 3 drawn charges.
Connor had the hot hand in the first quarter, nailing two three-pointers. He was also fouled attempting another three, and he made Crown pay, sinking all three foul shots. Keon added seven points. DJ, Chris, and Michael all blocked shots in one two-minute sequence. Up 21-2, I wondered if the Flight coaches would for once open the floodgates and let the boys go for the century mark.
Crown battled back, going on a 21-7 run of their own. Isaac was literally hurled off the court. Shaken, he and Connor missed foul shots. DJ drew a charge, but missed on the next possession. Isaac grabbed a rebound, but let the ball roll off his foot.
With the lead down to five points, Flight grabbed the momentum back, finishing the half with a 10-2 run. DJ drew another charge, denying Crown a basket. After a DJ rebound, Flight held the ball for the last shot. After passing the ball around up top for over twenty seconds, Isaac passed in to a cutting DJ, who made the shot with five seconds left. Flight led 38-24 at the half.
As the third quarter opened, Flight suffered four straight blows. Point guard Chris, a key player for Flight, went down with a painful ankle injury. He was helped off the court and would not return. On the next possession Keon was called for a five-second violation, giving the ball back to Crown. Soon thereafter Connor was whistled for his fourth foul, only 1:31 into the half. That sent him to the bench for the rest of the quarter. Michael swung his arms wildly, leading to a Crown three-point play. Joe subbed in for Michael, rocking black Jordans. Crown took full advantage of the substitutions, out-scoring Flight 14-7, cutting the lead to seven points...45-38.
Jonathan came off the bench to replace Connor. How he would perform would play a big part determing whether Flight could hold on. He played like a champ, making a basket, stealing the ball, and grabbing a rebound. Keon made an amazing left-handed scoop-lay-up while being fouled, then converted the foul shot. DJ scored off a rebound, then stole the ball on the next possession and threw long to Keon for a lay-up. Isaac scored off a rebound, then passed into the corner for a Keon three.
Flight had scored nine straight, forcing a Crown time-out with 1:21 left in the third. Up 54-38, the Flight crowd roared. Will led…the tomahawk chop? DJ would score off another rebound, making it an eleven point run. The quarter ended at 56-42. Crown couldn’t put much of a dent in the lead in the fourth quarter, but they did outscore Flight 13-10.
DJ added several exclamation points, assisting three Keon baskets, twice for two-pointers and one long pass to the corner for a three. Joel entered the game and grabbed a quick rebound. The crowd chanted Jo-el Nor-man! Then DJ stole the ball and drove the court, with a wide open path to the basket. I wondered…would he go for the dunk? No…he passed to his right to Joel, for the lay-up. A big smile from Joel, and the crowd went wild. Up 21 points, DJ was pulled from the game. Flight outscored Crown 9-3 to end the game.
Keon…26 points, 3 rebounds, one assist & steal
DJ……17 points, 13 boards, 7 assists, 4 steals, block
Connor: 14 points, 4 rebounds, 6-8 free throws
Isaac…7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
Chris…4 points, 2 boards, one assist, steal, & block
Michael…3 points, 4 rebounds, one assist & block
Jonathan…2 points, 2 rebounds, one block
Joel…2 points, 2 rebounds
Jordan & Joe also played.
Huge crowd at the game. Willis painted his face. Katelyn gave Sarah a backrub. Garrison chatted, but kept his attention on the game. Grace and Rhiannon hugged. Will wore his great-grandfather’s hat. Alyssa wondered why. Her sister Elizabeth was all smiles. Christy and her mom danced after the game. Lucy pounded my fist and marveled at the tall players. Her dad Lee looked good, weighing several pounds less than the last time I saw him. The Kellars mixed with Lynn and the Switzers. The Massey sisters snapped pictures. Coach O'Donnell had revovered from his Thursday scrimmage. And where was David Norman?
Jennalynne arrived during a timeout and hugged Lisa, while Heidi and Libby lined up for their hugs. Heidi got her hug, but then play resumed, so Libby was left hanging. Charles and Wesley exuded cool. After leading Justin backstage, David Bartlett is still driving around trying to get home. Kara kept it low key, making a statement in her BARONS warmup. Isaac recounted his technical foul. Mr. Cahill rocked his iPod. I stepped on a brownee. Anna laughed too hard at some dancing girls. Becky held down the consession stand. DJ's mom looked on. Superstar Jonathan Blair made an appearance, but couldn't dunk. Smilin' Jose hoised jump-shots at the side basket, with a crowd of people standing underneath, not paying attention. I could go on and on. Who did I forget, besides Jordan?