By: Dr. Richard Midcap, President Garrett College
Trojans shake off 11-point deficit to hand Lakers first loss
McHENRY – It's a big game when rivals Garrett College and Allegany College of Maryland square off in men's basketball. The fact that the teams brought a combined 15-1 record into Wednesday night's match-up simply made the game that much bigger.
The contest certainly lived up to its pregame hype as visiting ACM (9-1 overall, 3-1 league) rallied from an 11-point, second-half deficit to hand Garrett College its first loss of the season, 75-66. Jaylon Myles scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half for the Trojans, who finished the game on a 13-3 run.
"This was kind of a statement game for us," said Myles, who had eight points in that game-ending run, including the go-ahead basket with 2:55 remaining. "We wanted to play against the best and prove we could get a win."
That win seemed in doubt when Garrett, which had a 33-30 halftime edge, opened the second half with eight straight points. Simun Kovac – the Lakers' 6-foot-8 forward who was limited to three first-half minutes by two quick fouls – scored the final six points of that run, including a pair of put-backs and a half-hook on the baseline, to give Garrett a 41-30 cushion.
Allegany, however, refused to go away. The Trojans made some big shots – several of them by Everett Well (12 points) – before using an 11-2 run to surge into a 58-55 lead. Jason Copman's inside layup with 7:22 to play put ACM in front, 56-55, to set up the game's final dramatic minutes.
"The big turnaround for us was the interior rotation – [Jason] Copman, [Hirk] Williams, and [Demarcus] Demonia," said Allegany head coach Tommie Reams. "They did a good job limiting Garrett's looks after that quick start [to open the second half]. Once we weathered that storm, we knew we could win if we kept playing at our pace."
That pace – which allowed ACM to bring a 99-points-per-game scoring average into the contest – was torrid when the Trojans got going.
"They're a very good offensive team – and we missed too many shots that we have to make against a team that plays like that on offense," said Garrett head coach Dennis Gibson.
Tre' Wortham had 13 points and Demonia chipped in 12 as four Trojans reached double figures. Ariel Watson led Garrett with 18 points while Ely Camp (13 points) and Kovac (11 points, 14 rebounds) also hit double digits for the Lakers (7-1, 1-1).
There were seven lead changes in the final 7:22 of the game, the first being Copman's inside layup that gave the Trojans their first lead of the second half at 56-55.
Garrett owned the final surge of a see-saw opening half, using a 13-4 spurt to wipe out a 25-22 deficit. Camp had six points during the streak, including a layup with 2:01 remaining in the half to break a 27-27 tie. Ray Hinton hit consecutive hoops to end the surge, which gave the Lakers their largest lead of the first half at 33-27.
Wortham's 3-pointer stopped Garrett's surge and pulled the Trojans within 33-30 at the break.