by Jason Mehl, Director of TFC Sports Information
Photos by Willis Norman
The TFC menâ€™s basketball team (6-10, 2-3 conf.) ended a four-game losing skid by winning two games at home last week. Before the wins, they lost their fourth straight game to Piedmont College at TFC on Jan 25. The first time the teams met, in November in Demorest, the game went down to the last possession in overtime and Piedmont won 91-90. This time around things were completely different. Piedmont came out shooting well and playing pressure defense and TFC had no answers. The Eagles made only 23% of their first half shots on their way to scoring a lowly 14 points, while Piedmont scored 40. The Eagles came out at halftime and made some adjustments. Their defense and rebounding improved and their offensive shot selection improved, and they outscored Piedmont 40-35 in the second half, but it was far from enough to dig out of the first half hole and Piedmont won 75-54. Palmer Wood was the only TFC player in double figures with 10 points.
Friday night, Jan. 28 was senior night for the TFC men as they played a conference game against Trinity College of Florida. Before the game, Nick Droll, Johnny Sutherland, Ryan McGarvey and Andrew McGarvey were honored for their TFC careers and the Eagles got off to a good start and built an 11-5 lead. But they quickly let Trinity back into the game and found themselves down 40-31at half-time. TFC stepped up its defense in the second half and cut the lead to two points, but Trinity went on another run and built the lead back to 12 points with 4:30 remaining. However, the Eagles tightened up the defense even more and rebounded well and Sutherland, Ryan McGarvey, and Amin Embry hit clutch shots, the biggest of which was a three-pointer by Embry to tie the score at 71 with 10 seconds on the clock and send the game into overtime. In overtime, the Eagles got out in front quickly with a three from Droll and stayed on top the rest of the way and won 83-80. Sutherland led the way with 20 points. Danny Snyder had 19, Ryan McGarvey had 16 and 10 assists. Embry finished with 11 points and Droll scored 7 and grabbed 13 rebounds.
The next day, Warren Wilson College came to town. The Eagles had their strongest start of the season. With solid defense and rebounding and patient offense, they built a 28-8 lead 10 minutes into the first half. However, they then turned the ball over on four straight possessions and Warren Wilson was suddenly within 12 points. The gap stayed the same until the half ended at 36-24. In the second half Warren Wilson continued to battle, but TFC was able to weather the storm by continuing to pound the ball inside into Snyder and Wood who got Warren Wilsonâ€™s big men in foul trouble. The Eagles played under control down the stretch and hit their free throws, but managed only one field goal in the final seven minutes of playâ€”a three-pointer by Ryan McGarvey that barely beat the shot-clock. TFC won 66-61. Droll led scorers with 15 and grabbed 7 rebounds. Ryan McGarvey had 14 and 6 assists. Sutherland had 11 points and Wood had 10. The Eagles are on the road the rest of the regular season.
The Lady Eagles (8-11, 1-2 conf.) played only one game last week, on Jan. 28 in Rome against Georgia Northwestern Technical College. The Lady Eagles built up a lead early, but Northwestern countered and actually took the lead near the end of the first half before TFC scored on the last possession of the half to go up 30-29 at halftime. The Lady Eagles held the lead most of the second half, but Northwestern stayed close and tied the game at 55-55 with just 16 seconds remaining. On the next possession, TFCâ€™s Angela Little was fouled with 2.8 seconds left and hit both of her free-throws. The Lady Eagles defended well and didnâ€™t let Northwestern get off a shot and won the game 57-55. Rebecca Weatherstone led with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Little also had 9 rebounds to go with her 14 points. Meredith Estill pulled down 11 rebounds. Head Coach Paul Shiffer praised his teamâ€™s defensive effort, especially the effort of Callie Moore who had 5 steals to go with 7 rebounds and 6 assists. The Lady Eagles are on the road until they host the conference tournament which begins on Feb. 24.
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