Chaos ensued at Corpas Gymnasium on Friday, as Fred T. Foard and St. Stephens collided in a contest befitting a rivalry.
Foard junior Jordan Turner saluted his fellow upperclassmen by making a lay-up with 15 seconds to go, lifting the Tigers to a nail-biting 45-43 victory Friday against St. Stephens on “Senior Night."
Turner scored 10 of his game-high 14 points in the fourth quarter, including the last-second bucket to give Foard (13-9, 3-8) the victory.
"It was nice that we finally pushed over the top," said Foard coach Rob Bliss. "We've had a lot of games like that this year where we got right to that point and didn't finish. So it's great to see these kids finish tonight against a really quality team. St. Stephens is as well-coached, well-disciplined and well-skilled as any team in our league. It always means more when you can get a quality win."
Turner's effort came despite scoring four points in the first half — all of which came in the second quarter.
"Jordan really struggled offensively, in the first half especially," Bliss said. "He couldn't get his shots to go down. He started pressuring himself a little bit. It really speaks high of the kids character that he didn't 'tuck and run.' He was willing to make the big shots when it was time."
Zach Houston led St. Stephens (13-10, 5-5) with 12 points, including 10 in the second half.
The Tigers trailed for a majority of the game, including a six-point deficit, 34-28, entering the fourth quarter.
However, a 17-point fourth quarter by Foard and a nine-point four quarter by St. Stephens helped aid the Tigers' comeback in dramatic fashion.
"Give a lot of credit to Foard," said Indians coach Murphy Post. "I told coach Bliss there were a couple of times they could have folded. They were down double-digits in the second half. Their seniors really acted like they wanted this one tonight. You could tell. At the end of the day, they out-executed us. I give all the credit to them."
A last-minute three-pointer by the Indians' Kerigan Farley with three seconds to go fell short. Turner drew a foul on the rebound, made one of two free throws and Foard ran out the remaining 0.2 seconds.
Turner said he and his teammates dedicated their performance to the trio of Foard seniors Cody Winn, Tre Robinson and Lucas Harris.
"They've been a big part of our team," Turner said. "We decided to win it for them and for everybody, but mostly for them. They've worked hard for four years. They've came to practice for four years. They just deserve it."
Following the win, a jam-packed Foard student section stormed the court, celebrating with the players.
It was an atmosphere Post said should rejuvenate the two rivals.
"This (atmosphere) is something we haven't faced all year or faced a lot of," Post said. "I'd rather have a gym like this. I heard this used to be a rivalry. I think it is getting back to where it is going to be a rivalry again. It should be a lot of fun. If the games are as good as this all the time, the fans are in for a treat."
Turner also enjoyed the game and atmosphere he had a chance to partake in.
"I loved it," Turner said. "It hasn't been that big in a while. I'm glad we brought it back."
Fred T. Foard 74, St. Stephens 34
Guided by a 20-point performance from junior Brooke Robinson, the Lady Tigers earned the conference victory against the Lady Indians at home Friday.
"The girls played really well tonight," said Foard coach Brad Mangum. "I was proud of our defensive intensity in the first half. It's something we've tried to build on. We've been continuously getting better in practice. Its started to show on the court. We're stringing some games together. We are understanding the things we need to be doing. It's starting to pay off for us."
Chelsea Turner added 18 points for Foard (13-9, 6-5), while Kayla Whitworth tacked on 13 points.
The Lady Tigers pulled out to an early 17-8 lead in the first quarter, but used a strong defense and transition game to further distance themselves. By halftime, Foard led by 30 points, 46-16.
"Our transition game starts on our defensive end for us," Mangum said. "We're a very unselfish ball team and have been all year. It shows tonight. When we do good things on the defensive end, the transition is a lot easier for us offensively."
Keyona Hicks paced St. Stephens (3-18, 0-10) with 13 points.
Newton-Conover 56, Draughn 47
Receiving 12 points from Shane Laws, 11 points from Tyuon Shuford and 10 points each from Joshuwell McCombs and Kevin Cline, the Red Devils picked up a Catawba Valley 2A victory Friday against the Wildcats.
Newton-Conover moves to outright third-place in the CVAC, improving to 14-8 overall and 9-3 in conference. Draughn falls to 13-9 and 8-4 in the CVAC, dropping from a tie with N-C for third-place.
West Caldwell 71, Bunker Hill 51
Chris Michaux scored 25 points and three other Warriors notched double-digit points, topping the Bears in conference play Friday.
Wilbert Rojas led Bunker Hill (4-17, 4-8) with 14 points, while Jordan McGinnis tacked on 10 points.
West Caldwell improves to 11-1 in the CVAC and 13-5 overall.
Bandys 60, South Iredell 56
Despite a late surge by the Lady Vikings in the fourth quarter, the Lady Trojans held on to stay atop the Catawba Valley 2A girls basketball standings.
Madi Story scored 35 points for Bandys (20-1, 11-1), making 11-of-14 attempts and dishing out seven assists.
Aaliyah Jackson led South Iredell (13-8, 7-5) with 18 points and Miracle Campbell added 10 points.
West Caldwell 56, Bunker Hill 37
Receiving 19 points from Ravin Carter and 16 points from Lexxus Corpening, the Lady Warriors improved to 8-10 overall and 6-6 in the CVAC win against the Lady Bears on Friday.
Margaret Connor led Bunker Hill (0-21, 0-12) with 14 points, while Wilbelis Rojas chipped in eight points.
CVCC 89, Lenoir CC 85
The Bucs picked up their sixth win in seven games, notching a tight win at home Friday at the Tarlton Complex.
Anthony Hillard scored a career-high 23 points. Teammated Isaiah Cuthbertson and Jalen Cannidy added double-doubles. Cutherbertson scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while Cannidy had 14 points and 21 rebounds.
Marquez Jones led Lenoir with 24 points.