It was a special night for the Eagles of Covenant Classical Christian School on Friday, February 4, 2011. The CCCS Varsity Boys basketball team took the court against the #1 ranked team in the State for Class A, the Glenforest Bulldogs. Coming off a 90-63 defeat to the Bulldogs on January 14th, the Eagles were not given much of chance to take this game. The truth of the matter is that the only people in the gym that night that believed the upset could happen were most likely the coaches and players. Fortunately, those were the only people that truly needed to believe, as Coach Peckham and the Eagles tallied one of the biggest wins in school history, 40-39, over Glenforest.
The game started off with a three-point basket from Glenforest 6’5 super-star, Josh Simmons. Josh is currently being recruited by several Division I & Division II colleges and universities. Then, down 3-0, Covenant decided to use a strategy that had never been used against the mighty Bulldogs. The Eagles literally held the ball and ran a “delay” offensive set. Covenant ran almost 2:00 minutes off the clock before hitting a big layup to cut the score to 3-2. The Eagles continued this strategy each offensive possession and by the end of the 1st quarter the scoreboard read Covenant 7 Glenforest 5.
The start of the 2nd quarter was played much of the same way as the Eagles took a 17-14 lead going into halftime. The crowds for both teams realized that this game was going to be a battle. Glenforest’s coach, William Knopf, made some adjustments to start the 3rd quarter and forced the Eagles into some crucial turnovers that lead to easy Glenforest baskets. However, going into the 4th quarter the Eagles maintained a 31-29 lead. David Golden was 3 for 3 from the three-point line for the game and seemed to always answer a Glenforest basket with a big shot of his own.
The excitement was building and the play of both teams during the 4th quarter would not let the fans down. With the Eagles up 38-36, Josh Simmons went to the free throw line with 20 seconds left in the game. After making the first free throw, Simmons missed the 2nd one and Will Gasaway got the rebound. Then it seemed as if the game had finally swung to the Bulldogs. With no timeouts left, Gasaway found himself getting trapped underneath his own basket. The ball was then tipped on an attempted pass to one of the Eagles and would you know it, Simmons came up with the turnover and quickly scored for the Bulldogs to give Glenforest a 39-38 lead. Covenant quickly inbounded the basketball to Emmanuel Bazemore with only 12 seconds remaining. It looked as if Bazemore had one thing on his mind and that was to get ball up the court and take it all the way to the basket. With 5.2 seconds left, Emmanuel banks in a tough angled and highly contested shot to give the Eagles a 40-39 lead. However, the Eagles have been in this situation before and everyone knew who would take the last shot for the Bulldogs. After Coach Knopf called a timeout, the Eagles set up there defense and attempted to double-team Josh Simmons as he approached half court. However, Josh split the 2 outstanding defenders for the Eagles, David Golden and Emmanuel Bazemore. As Simmons approached the lane with just a couple seconds remaining every coach and fan for the Eagles was holding their breath as Simmons released the shot from just inside the FT line. It was short, the ball hit off the front rim as the buzzer sounded and the Eagles fans, players, and coaches went crazy! Covenant had finally beaten Glenforest with Josh Simmons on the court!
The Eagles were lead in scoring by David Golden with 13 points. Jonathan Peckham played a huge role in the game and had 12 points and Emmanuel Bazmore had 11 points including the game winning basket. Nico Legaspi and Will Gasaway chipped in 2 points a piece, but came up with some big rebounds and steals for the Eagles. Josh Simmons scored 31 points in a losing effort for the Bulldogs. Covenant improves its record to 16-8 overall, as Glenforest drops to 21-4.
The Eagles have now clinched a share of the Regular Season Championship after finshing with a 5-1 record in the region. They will be in action on Thursday night in the SCISA Class A Region III Basketball Tournament hosted by Glenforest. Covenant will play the South Aiken Baptist Crusaders to advance to the championship game on Saturday night against the Glenforest Bulldogs. Please come out and support the Eagles as they make a run at the region championship and advance to the State Tournament. Go Eagles!!!
Post Written & Edited by: Coach Peckham