Heritage and Enloe have met twice this season, and each time, the game has come down to an exciting fourth quarter. Unlike the first matchup, when Enloe lost a fourth-quarter lead, and ultimately the game, the Eagles managed to maintain the edge and come away with 40-34 win Friday.
Turning Point: After starting the second half tied at 21, Heritage made its move late in the third quarter, going on a 7-3 run and taking a 31-27 lead on a Johnathan Thomas three-pointer early in the fourth quarter. That slim lead wouldn’t last long, however. Enloe went on a 13-3 run to finish the game, as Heritage had trouble scoring and hanging onto the ball.
What Worked: The last time these two teams played, Enloe let a six-point fourth-quarter lead turn into a seven-point overtime loss, largely because of its inability to hit free throws. Friday it hit four of eight free-throw attempts after taking the lead. Enloe coach Tommy Moore said that his team’s free-throw shooting and solid ball handling was the difference in the two games.
“We made some free throws this time and we didn’t turn the ball over,” he said. “You give yourself a chance if you don’t give them any help.”
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What Didn’t Work: Heritage coach Pat Kennedy said that while he was happy with the defensive effort his team put up, he needs more out of his offense.
“If we hold a Cap Eight opponent to 40 points, we should be able to win,” he said. “We just had trouble scoring.”
Putting Up Numbers: Only two players scored double figures in a game where points were not easy to come by. Heritage’s Mike Dix led his team with 11 points. Pervis Louder led Enloe with 10 points, including a clutch layup and free-throws down the stretch.
Out of Bounds: The crowd in Enloe’s gym was spirited and energetic the entire night. From synchronized chanting during the game to flooding the court afterward, they provided plenty of energy for Eagles. They were especially loud when Dix came to the free-throw line. The Heritage senior played his first three seasons at Enloe before transferring last summer.
In the first game between the teams, Dix came up big, hitting a layup that forced the game into overtime, and ultimately resulted in a 59-52 Heritage win on Jan. 4. He was met with a chorus of boos by his former classmates.