Saturday, February 23, 2013

GAIS Advances to Regional Championship Game

Matt Miller drained a three pointer off the dribble from behind the top of the key with 1:26 remaining to ignite a 9-1 game ending run, giving the GAIS Eagles a 69-61 NCHBC semifinal victory over Aaron Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, Friday.  GAIS will meet the Nashville Warriors in Saturday's championship game.

Trailing 32-29 at halftime, Miller sank a three pointer during the first possession of the third quarter.  Moments later, Miller, Austin Crown, and Dominic Brown had combined score 13 quick points and help GAIS establish a 42-34 lead.  But senior guard Kyle Hodnett led Aaron back into contention, scoring 8 third quarter points and trimming the GAIS lead to 45-44 before the final period.

Dion Fitts made a three pointer with just over 3 minutes remaining to give Aaron a 55-51 advantage.  But GAIS's Dominic Brown answered on the next possession to pull his team within 1 point.  After baskets were traded and Aaron tied the game at 60, Miller made the shot to give GAIS the lead for good at 63-60.

In the final minute, Austin Crown made 4 made free throws, grabbed a steal and assisted Dominic Brown, whose thunderous dunk gave GAIS a 67-60 lead with 44 seconds remaining.

Miller led GAIS with 27 points.  Brown and Crown added 20 and 19, respectively.  Hodnett led Aaron with 19 points.

Saturday's championship game is a repeat of last year's.  Nashville, the tournament's host, defeated GAIS with a three pointer by Connor Sears at the buzzer in last year's championship game.  See the video highlights of last year's game below.  And see the game summary here.

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