3A STATE SEMIFINALS: Holly Pond leaves it all on the floor, falls to Midfield 86-78

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Josh McBrayer

BIRMINGHAM – Holly Pond left it all on the floor at the Legacy Arena Tuesday morning as they took on the Midfield Patriots in the 3A State Semifinals, with the Patriots emerging victorious, 86-78.

Midfield opened the game with a basket by Kalon Williams and followed with points in the paint by Keenan Isaac to take a 4-0 led. Not a team to be intimidated, or outdone, Holly Pond came roaring back with baskets by Matt Cahoon and Drew Jones to tie the score at 4-4. The two squads traded points on the next two trips before Cahoon converted an and one to give the Broncos their first lead of the game, 9-6. Jones added to the lead with a short jumper, giving Holly Pond a five-point lead, but it was short-lived. Midfield went on a tear at the end of the quarter, going on a 13-2 run to end the first up 19-13.

Thanks to a quick five points from Shy Cunningham, the Patriots continued their run to start the second. Cahoon broke the scoreless drought for the Broncos when he hit a layup and was fouled. Pats coach Darrell Barber was then hit with a technical for being on the floor arguing the call. This gave the Broncos the spark they needed, riding the momentum for the next three minutes to pull to within one of the Patriots. However, for the second quarter in a row, Midfield ended the quarter on a run, this one 9-2, to take a 42-32 lead to the half.

The Patriots extended their lead to open the third, putting the Broncos in a 15-point hole, but the green and white were not done yet. Late in the third, Andrew Shaw and Jones found the range from downtown, igniting a 9-0 run that got the Broncos to within six. Midfield countered with five unanswered points to end the quarter up 64-52.

Jones stayed hot in the final frame, cutting the Midfield lead to single digits with a three to start the fourth. Midfield’s Woods responded with a pair of free throws to push the lead to 11. From there the Patriots went on a 9-3 run to stay firmly in front as they looked to put the game away, but Holly Pond was not going anywhere. Dawson Foust, Cahoon and Smith combined for a trifecta of threes to get the Broncos as close as seven. Throughout the contest, it seemed that any time the Broncos had the momentum, a whistle would slow down the action, and the fourth was no different. Forced to foul, the Broncos had to put the Patriots on the line where they held their lead and advanced to the 3A State Championship by the final score of 86-78.

Midfield will play Friday at 2:15 p.m. versus the winner of Plainview and Hillcrest-Evergreen.

Drew Jones finished the game with 19, Dawson Foust dropped in 13, Matt Cahoon and Garrett McKinley each had 12. Andrew Shaw scored nine, Bailey Smith had eight, Caleb Jones three and Michael Lambert added two.

The Broncos end their season 33-2 and with three titles: area, county and region.

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