Hillcrest holds off AC to land AAA third place

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 23, 2003

MADISON &045; For the first time in four tries the ACCS Rebels played their best ball against Hillcrest Christian.

But it came just a bit late.

The Rebels erased an early 13-point deficit and took the lead in the fourth quarter before dropping a 62-51 decision to the Cougars in the consolation game of the MPSA Class AAA tournament at MRA.

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The loss puts the Rebels playing Leake Academy either Monday or Tuesday in the opening round of the MPSA Overall tournament.

&uot;It was just like we did in the Prep game (Friday),&uot; ACCS head coach Ricky Gray said. &uot;We started playing and playing well. We came back and played extremely well. We showed a lot of character and played well.&uot;

The Rebels were down 20-7 at one point in the third quarter before taking the lead with 4:00 left in the game. But the Cougars regrouped and took a seven-point lead with 1:19 left to get back control of the game.

The Rebels cut it to 56-51 with 46 seconds left, but the Cougars hit four free throws before tossing in two more to take the consolation victory.

&uot;We got the ball inside extremely well,&uot; Gray said. &uot;We started making some good entry passes. We played a lot better offensively in the fourth quarter. We penetrated well in the fourth quarter and found the open man. We did a good job of defending Walker Moeller in the second half. He had 37 last night.&uot;

Moeller and the Cougars started off strong with a 14-7 lead and opened the second quarter with a 6-0 run before taking a 29-18 lead at halftime as the Rebels finished the first half with 16 turnovers.

The Rebels then outscored Hillcrest 13-9 in the third quarter to cut the lead to 38-31 heading into the fourth.

&uot;I’m not sure what was wrong,&uot; Gray said of the slow start. &uot;I’m not sure if it was playing in the consolation game or what. We didn’t come out playing solid early. We kind of stood around, but around the 2:00 mark in the second quarter we started playing well.&uot;

Moeller led Hillcrest with 17 points. AC’s top scorers were Luke Ogden with 19, Dustin Case with 14 and Glenn Williams with 12.