Broughton found itself in its first close contest of the season Tuesday, trailing with nine seconds remaining to visiting Green Hope when the Caps’ inbounds play broke down.
Brooks Palmer inbounded the ball to Tharon Suggs, and then found himself alone on the wing. Palmer, a senior guard who was 0-5 from behind the arc to that point, got the ball back and drained a three-pointer to put the Caps ahead with what would be the game-winning basket with less than two second remaining.
“Coach trusts me to shoot, so I’m going to keep shooting no matter what because that’s what I do,” Palmer said. “I just had the confidence to take it. I was kind of unsure whether it was going to go in. It didn’t feel that good, but it went in.”
The shot pushed Broughton to a 45-43 win, as the Caps remained undefeated despite some offensive struggles earlier in the game.
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“I think before this game we were playing really well,” Palmer said. “This game was kind of like a bump in the road, but this is the first tough competition we’ve faced, so it was a good test. The third quarter was just kind of a struggle. We didn’t play very well, but we pulled it out and I think that’s the big thing. We know that we should be winning these games.”
The Caps went into halftime with a three-point lead, but were held scoreless for much of the third quarter, allowing a 10-0 Green Hope run to start the second half before Broughton extended its defense to pull back within striking distance heading into the fourth quarter.
Jaishon Spencer broke Broughton’s drought from the floor with just more than two minutes remaining in the third, followed by a Jerome Robinson steal at midcourt that ended in a breakaway dunk to pull the Caps within two points, prompting a Green Hope timeout.
The Falcons were whistled for a 10-second backcourt violation immediately following the timeout, and later were called for five seconds. Broughton trailed 36-32 heading into the fourth quarter.
“Green Hope dictated the tempo of that game pretty much the entire game,” Broughton coach Jeff Ferrell said. “I was scared to go into any kind of press, but I felt like we had no choice when we were down ten. Somehow (Green Hope) didn’t handle that as well as I thought they would. With all of those good ballhandlers they have I thought they would do a good job of beating that, and they didn’t so that got us back into it, and then we got lucky at the end.”
The Caps took the lead on an Austin Burnette (11 points, 5 rebounds) layup with just more than five minutes to play. Robinson led all scorers with 14 points for Broughton.
Jonathan Clark, who led Green Hope with 11 points, tied the game again with 2:36 remaining with a three-pointer, and Jeremy Adams, who added 10 points for the Falcons, put Green Hope ahead with a lay-up with just more than a minute to play. The Falcons were 0-3 from the free throw line in the final period.
Green Hope (1-3) again found itself on the losing end of a close contest. All four of the Falcons’ games this season have been decided by three points or less.
“The first few games we didn’t have the effort that we really needed to, and tonight we matched and played a little harder than we have all year,” Green Hope coach John Green said. “Every one of the games has come down to the very last possession. ... I’m hoping these guys can keep the confidence up because being in so many close ones you just need to get over the hump.”