The Goose Creek Memorial boys basketball program honored its seniors Friday night. Shortly thereafter, Ball High took the court and shut the door on the Patriots playoff hopes.
Nigel Green scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half to help the Tors take control of the contest and ultimately pick up a 59-51 win on the road.
The third quarter proved to be pivotal as Ball High broke a 27-27 tie and took an 11-point advantage. The visitors’ ability to create second-chance opportunities and take advantage of GCM miscues were a key factor.
An example of being unable to get over the hump came in the third quarter. Ball High had jumped out to a nine-point lead behind a 3-point shot by Tyler Polzin and the offensive playmaking ability of Green.
Emerson Haywood stopped the bleeding with a 3-point shot. The Patriots closed within 42-34 and had an opportunity to draw even closer after Ball High was called for a technical.
It turned out to be a lost opportunity.
Dylan Cook missed the two free throws and followed with a turnover that was converted into a layup by Darion Henry.
Cook gained redemption in the fourth quarter and helped bring GCM within six points with less than two minutes left in the contest. The Patriots gained possession and Cook drove into the paint, going up for a basket. A Ball High defender, though, had position and drew the charge, negating a made basket. The Tors proceeded to put the game away at the line.
The Patriots were pretty consistent in the first half. Cook gave GCM an early lead with a 3-pointer. The problem was the Patriots fell in love with the shot and promptly missed their next four as Ball High took a lead. Haywood hit from long range and the Patriot transition game shifted into gear as the game settled into a close affair.
Ball High had an advantage in the paint and put it to good use with Green and Quinton Cooper doing work down low. Ball High led 15-13 after the first quarter, and GCM tied it at the half. Zaene Massicott tipped a missed layup at the buzzer to tie the game at 27-27 going into the half.
The game had been chippy in the second quarter and it extended into the hallway as the teams exited the court. Fans also began to filter from the stands toward the hallways. Campus police and school officials helped coaches separate the teams ending what could have been an ugly scene.
Cook scored 22 points to lead all scorers and Haywood had 11. Green scored 20 and Henry had 10 to lead Ball High.
Galveston Ball improved to 18-10 and 11-2 in district. They will close the regular season against Texas City (12-1 in district).