|FCS holds off Grace Baptist|
|Thursday, March 15, 2012|
MURFREESBORO -- Friendship Christian streaked to an early lead but had to hold on at the end for a 52-46 victory over Grace Baptist of Chattanooga Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the TSSAA BlueCross Boys Basketball Championships at Murphey Center.
The Commanders led 17-3 in the first quarter, then battled turnovers and a poor night at the free throw line to pull out the first state tournament win in the history of the program. Grace dug themselves a huge hole -- going 0-12 from the field to start the game.
Now 26-3 on the season, FCS will advance to Friday's 6:45 p.m. semifinal game vs. McEwen.
The Commanders turned the ball over 20 times against the Golden Eagles and connected on only 9-of-19 attempts from the free throw line -- 46.4 percent. FCS won the battle of the boards 38 to 28.
Senior Mark Sandoval had a triple-double of sorts, scoring 10 points, pulling in 11 rebounds, but he turned the ball over 11 times.
Allen Heaston led the Commanders with 16 points, followed by 12 from Dalton Patterson. Drew Hutchinson added six points while Hunter Anderson struggled with foul trouble and scored just two points.
FCS finished 20-of-41 from the field (48.8 percent) and 3-of-7 from three-point range.
Cory Nelson led Grace Baptist (19-11) with 20 points and Stephen Record had 12. The Golden Eagles shot just 30.4 percent from the field (14-of-46) and 18 percent on three-point tries (3-of-17).
Tournament tickets -- Admission is $10 per person Friday. General admission is $12 per person for Saturday’s three championship games. Parking will be $5 per day. Parking for Murphy Center is located off of Green Land Drive.
TV coverage -- All quarterfinal and semifinal games will be streamed live at tssaanetwork.com and www.youtube.com/playonnetwork.
In addition, Saturday’s Division I Boys championship games will be broadcast on live television across the seven Tennessee Public Television Council stations throughout the state, as well as streamed live nationally on ESPN3.