Fayetteville High School’s Tiger basketball season came to an end Saturday in the school’s first-ever appearance of Region 5 action, falling at home to LEAD Academy at the buzzer, 57-55.
Forrest was the only team from District 9-A to survive Saturday night’s region play, defeating McEwen, 47-42. Middle Tennessee Christian went down to East Robertson, 75-65, and Nashville Christian defeated Community, 60-55. Also in Region 5, Columbia Academy won over Perry County, 70-45.
As expected, the Tigers vs. Panthers match-up was a fast-paced ball game. The whistles controlled the first half with both teams in the double bonus before the break. Damage to the Tigers came when James Keith had to sit with 3 minutes remaining in the first quarter with two fouls. The Panthers won the first eight minutes, 14-11.
With 4:18 in the second, Osborn Cowell tipped in a shot, knotting it at 19-19. But, FHS never took the advantage. LEAD won the second frame, 17-15, and took a 31-26 lead into the intermission. The Panthers were 12 of 19 from the line in the first half; the Tigers went 8 of 14.
At the 5:42 mark in the third, Aaron Parks cut the margin to three, 35-32, but that was as close as it would get in the period. LEAD won the quarter, 16-14, and was up 47-40 going into the final frame.
In the fourth, Michael Parks knotted it at 48-48 with 4:03 on the clock, then gave the Tigers their first lead since the first quarter with a 3-pointer, 53-52, with 2:18 remaining. Nicholas Hopkins put FHS up 55-52 at the 2:10 mark but went down hard following the shot. With Hopkins still on the floor, play continued. The Panthers took advantage of the 4-on-5 situation, going the length of the court for the score before the officials stopped play for the injured player. The basket counted, and Fayetteville was up 55-54 with 1:46 remaining.
LEAD knotted it at 55-55, making one from the line with 48 ticks on the clock. Fayetteville had its opportunity going to the line for two with 4 seconds remaining, but both shots rattled out. The Panthers pulled the rebound and called time out with 3.8 seconds on the clock. Going the length of the floor, LEAD Academy’s Raymond Clay put up a shot just inside the arch at the buzzer for the win, 57-55.
Nicholas Hopkins set the pace for the Tigers with 18 points; Michael Parks, 14; James Keith, 10; Darren Patterson, 5; Aaron Parks, 4; Darrion King and Osborn Cowell, 2.
The Tigers were 11 of 18 from the line. FHS hit six from the arch coming from Michael Parks and Nicholas Hopkins with 2 and Aaron Parks and Darren Patterson with one each.
Austin Clay and Demarco Jackson led for the Panthers with 13 each. LEAD went 14 of 22 from the line and had one 3-pointer.
Senior Tigers finishing their careers are Darren Patterson and Aaron Parks.