Freedom boys escape against Armwood
TAMPA - No matter how hard the Freedom boys basketball team tried, it wasn't able to shake Armwood until the final buzzer sounded. The Hawks missed two game-tying attempts from beyond the arc in the closing seconds, allowing the Patriots to escape with the 50-47 win on Wednesday night. The game was close throughout, as neither team led by more than six points. "I knew it would be a close game," Freedom coach Cedric Smith said. "We played them during the summer, and both games came down to the end. They've got some good players and are well coached."Early in the fourth quarter, it looked like the Patriots would finally get some breathing room, but consecutive jumpers by Marcus Hill cut the Freedom lead to 38-37 with five minutes to play. Patriots forward Stephen Odunna answered with two straight lay-ups to give his team a five-point lead. Armwood (13-6) was able to cut the lead to two with less than a minute to go but could get no closer. Freedom (12-1) was led by Odunna's 13 points. Andrew Mcpherson had 10 points, as did Brandon Patchan (including his team's final five points to preserve the win). "We needed him tonight towards the end," Smith said. "And we're going to need him even more on Friday night." The Hawks got a game-high 18 points from Marcus Hill, whose teammate Vontrey Hill also had 18 points (including 14 of the team's 21 first-half points). On the girls side, Freedom (17-2) never trailed and coasted to a 54-33 win as Armwood (11-8) had no answer inside for Patriots center Faith Woodard, who finished with a game-high 22 points and had 13 rebounds. Bianca Igwe added 11 points for Freedom. Dejoun Dennard and Kiana King each added seven points to lead the Hawks.