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Smoking For Jesus boys basketball hits buzzer beater for win

CAPTION: Smoking for Jesus sophomore guard Michael Richard is part of history for the Eagles basketball team. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Smoking For Jesus boys basketball team is finding its form as evident from some impressive victories that include a 40-37 win against Cherokee Dec. 20 and a 65-58 win against Bulverde Bracken Dec. 17 to end the Faith Academy of Marble Falls tournament.

Head coach Boo Maxwell noted the contest against Cherokee pitted two teams that brought out the best in each other. Smoking For Jesus led 10-8 after the first quarter, 20-18 at the half, and 34-25 going into the final stanza.

“It was back and forth,” he said. “We were up by two at the half. We were up by seven with two minutes left in the fourth quarter.”

Cherokee, however, refused to go away. The Indians created turnovers they turned into points. With eight seconds remaining, the Eagles fouled to preserve time. The Indians, however, missed the free throws and Smoking For Jesus got rebound and made a half-court pass to call a timeout. Maxwell drew a play that gave senior captain Bryson Culver the shot.

“But the ball didn’t go in the direction to make it,” Maxwell said.

Instead, the ball found its way to sophomore guard Michael Richard, who took the shot at the top of the key for the win. That’s the first game-winning shot in the history of our athletics program. We’ve hit some buzzer beaters at the half and at the end of quarters. But not game-winning shots. I’m very proud of Michael for taking that shot. He doesn’t practice that.”

The contest was tied thanks to a lay-up by senior guard Jonathan Frazier. Senior Isaac Legier led with 18 points, Culver added 14 and Richard had six.

“They never gave up,” Maxwell said. “They kept fighting toward the end.”

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