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Beyond the Box Score: The Story Behind the Aiken-Lakeside Overtime Thriller

The clip of Aiken High star RJ Felton flushing a buzzer beater dunk to send Tuesday’s game into overtime has area fans buzzing. Luckily for us all, we have the full story and highlights from beyond the box score.

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Note from Chad Cook, Zone706.com and @AugBball editor:

After seeing the clip of Aiken High star (and East Carolina signee) RJ Felton flushing a buzzer-beating dunk to send Tuesday’s game into overtime, many area fans have been buzzing wanting to know the whole story behind the dramatic overtime win over Lakeside on Tuesday night. Luckily for us, the intrepid young reporter that caught the film of Felton’s game-tying dunk, Carlos Rodriguez, is joining us as a special Zone706 contributor to go beyond this morning’s box score, with this quick game summary and full game highlight reel. 

Carlos Rodriguez is a sophomore at Augusta University, where he runs for the nationally ranked cross country team,and serves as a sports reporter for the Bell Ringer, Augusta’s student newspaper.

Aiken vs. Lakeside: The Game Story

Aiken defeated Lakeside on the road 76-67 after outscoring the Panthers in the overtime period 11-2. Aiken was led by East Carolina signee R.J. Felton, who had 29 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Nate Holland played a big role, adding 20 points off the bench and knocking down free throws when it mattered.

The Fighting Green Hornets only led early in the first quarter and trailed Lakeside after each quarter in regulation except the fourth.

The Panthers were led by junior transfer Ahmad Hunt, who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Rico Gonzalez and senior Eli Hergott both added 11 each. Hunt came out of the gate strong, converting an and-one three-pointer for Lakeside’s first basket and first lead of the game. He had 11 points in the first quarter and 15 by the end of the half.

Lakeside was able to be successful in the first half because they moved the ball well and didn’t rush shots on the offensive end. They were definitely more conservative with the ball throughout the whole game.

The game pace was consistent throughout. Aiken would score, but Lakeside would score more. It wasn’t until late in the final frame that the lead started to get within a single possession. Aiken had the ball with 18 seconds left, down 65-63. A turnover on the inbounds pass seemed to doom their chances of a tie. They were forced to foul multiple times to get Lakeside into the bonus. They succeeded at getting them on the line with 6 seconds left. The Panthers missed the first end of a one-and-one free throw and Aiken got the rebound and timeout with 2.6 seconds left. The score was still 65-63.

Inbounding from the opposite end of the floor presented a huge a challenge to making a good pass and getting  a good look, but Aiken managed to do both. Junior Clay Howard threw  a hail mary pass and R.J. Felton caught the ball over four Lakeside defenders. He slipped through multiple Panthers and dunked the ball at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.

In the overtime period, Lakeside lost two key starters, Gonzalez and Hergott, due to both fouls.

One of the most common basketball proverbs is the saying “ Free throws win games! And that was proven again in this game.. Aiken only made one field-goal in the overtime period but went to the line and sank nine free throws. Holland made five of them, R.J.Felton made one, and Demarcus Mazone made three.

They’d missed opportunities from the line during regulation, but made them when they counted most down the stretch, and that’s how they came out with the victory.

Aiken improved to 5-3 while Lakeside dropped to 3-4.

High School

[Livestream] Evans Hosts Effingham Co. in State Playoff Showdown

Evans battles Effingham in Round 1 of the Georgia 6A State Playoffs. Live from Evans High.

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[Livestream] Grovetown vs Evans in Region Battle for Playoff Position

Evans hosts Grovetown and looks to avenge their buzzer beater loss to the Warriors on January 22nd.

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“Sophomore Malik Ferguson picked up a loose ball in the middle of the paint with one second remaining, and right before the fourth quarter buzzer sounded, he released a shot that found its mark to give Grovetown 61-60 win over Evans Friday, a result that threw the top spot in the class 6A, region 5 standings into a three way tie between Grovetown, Evans and Heritage to mark the beginning of the stretch run for the league’s regular season championship. Ferguson’s shot came at the end of a full court dash by Grovetown after head coach Darren Douglas was able to draw up a play during a timeout that was meant to result in a bucket in only six seconds. The play was designed for senior Zach Bell, who eventually fumbled the ball after spinning between defenders at the end of a drive that began near half court after he gathered the ball from freshman Derrion Reid.”

That was Chad Cook’s rundown of the instant classic that these two teams played two weeks ago. That win by Grovetown sets up a must-win scenario for Evans as they look to maintain their footing in the race for a region championship.

Be sure to get your ? ready early because if tonight’s game is as exciting as the last one, you just might forget those jokers altogether!

Streams will be posted here. Tip-off times are as follows:
Girls – 6:30 PM
Boys – 8:00 PM

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