Concord First Assembly holds off Patriots

Indy’s Jalen Hinton shoots over a First Assembly defender. (Ron Morris)
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On Saturday evening, the Independence men’s basketball team and the Eagles of Concord First Assembly faced off in the Charlotte Hoops Challenge being played at Myers Park High School.

Omarion Bodrick drives the lane against two defenders, (Ron Morris)

At the beginning of the game, it was apparent that both teams wanted to play at a fast pace.  In the first ten seconds, First Assembly nailed a three-pointer, which was immediately answered by Indy’s Nygell Verdier three-pointer.

At the 6:12 mark, Nygell Verdier grabbed a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast to tie the score 5-5. On Indy’s next possession, Nygell drove down the left side of the lane and threw the ball over the top of the rim. Indy’s Omarion Bodrick caught it over the rim and slam-dunked the ball to give Indy its first lead at 7-5 with 5:40 remaining in the first quarter.

With 3:12 remaining in the period, Tachai Miller stole the ball in First Assembly’s back court. Miller made the pass to Nygell Verdier, who scored to give the Patriots their biggest lead at 13-7.

Lee Harrington tries to pass to the inside during the first half of Saturday’s game against First Assembly. (Ron Morris)

With the Patriots leading 15-9 with 2:52 left in the first period, the Eagles started a 9-4 run to make the score 19-18 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second period, Indy moved out to a six-point lead, 26-20 on a Jalen Hinton drive with 4:35 left to play. After the Eagles cut Indy’s lead to one, 26-25, Camren Little pulled down an offensive rebound, and with a putback, gave Indy a three-point lead, 28-25.

With 2:28 left in the half, Jalen Hinton hit a baseline three-pointer to move the Patriots back to a six-point lead, 31-25. With a minute left, Omarion Bodrick gave Indy its largest lead, 33-25. However, before the half came to an end, the Eagles fought back and made the half time score 33-31.

First Assembly started the second half with a three-point basket to take the lead at 34-33.  At the 7:40 mark, Nygell Verdier hit a baseline jumper to gave Indy its last lead, 35-34.

Indy’s Anthony Allen drives to the basket and is whistled for a charge. (Ron Morris)

Indy tied the score on three occasions, but could not ever re-take the lead. With 3:55 left in the quarter, Jalen Hinton drained a three-pointer to make the score 42-42. At 3:15, Tachai Miller hit a jumper to tie the score at 44 all. As the buzzer sounded, Jalen Hinton made a baseline three-pointer to tie the score 54-54 as the teams headed into the final period.

First Assembly started the final period with an old-fashioned three-point play. The Eagles drove down the lane for the basket and picked up a foul to make the score 57-54 lead.

When Indy tried to answer, Anthony Allen was whistled for a charge, giving the ball back to the Eagles, who capitalized on the call to take a 59-54. The Eagles opened a seven-point lead 61-54 on a slam dunk.

With 2:07 left in the game, Anthony Allen cut the score to two, 63-61, on a top-of-the-key three-pointer. At the 1:15 mark, Tachai Miller got Indy within one, 63-62.

With one minute left, Indy was whistled for a blocking foul and the Eagles made both free throws, 65-62.

With time running out, the Patriots had to foul, but First Assembly took advantage of the fouling and took a 68-64 non-conference win over the Patriots.

Anthony Allen led the Patriots with twenty points and three rebounds. Jalen Hinton added twelve points, one rebound, two assists, and two steals. Nygell Verdier scored eleven points and one rebound. He also had two assists and a blocked shot. Omarion Bodrick had a double-double, scoring ten points and grabbing ten rebounds. He had four assists and two steals. Tachai Miller had five points. Lee Harrington scored four points, and Camren Little finished the night with two points.

Concord First Assembly  18  13  23  14  –  68

Independence                 19  14  21  10 –   64

Indy’s Nygell Verdier goes for the layup attempt against First Assembly’s Cheick Traore. (Ron Morris)
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