The roles reversed during in the next three quarters.
Once shots began to fall for Allatoona, it didn’t take long for the Buccaneers to rally from a 10-point deficit Monday, and they used a fourth quarter run to hold off North Cobb Christian 58-47 in the championship game of the Lake City Classic at Allatoona.
With the game tied at 41-all early in the fourth quarter, Allatoona (11-0) started a 12-2 run to take a double-digit lead with a little over 3 minutes left to play. After North Cobb Christian (10-3) cut the lead to seven points, Daniel Fowler scored Allatoona’s next four points on an end-to-end layup and a dunk to put the game away.
Fowler was named tournament MVP after finishing the game with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Rodney Brown chipped in with 14 points and Bradley Brevet finished with 10.
“This win is great for the kids, the program and the community,” Allatoona coach Markus Hood said. “North Cobb Christian is a great team who is going to win some games and compete for a state championship. When you beat a team like that, we have to stay humble.”
The Eagles, normally an effective 3-point shooting team, were 2-for-13 from beyond the arc in the second half.
Also, Hunter Ware was held scoreless for the game. Stephon Jelks, who averages a double-double, came away with only five points and three rebounds.
Kendall Crute led North Cobb Christian with 18 points, and Trey Kalina finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
The first quarter was a different story for the Eagles, who shot 50 percent from the field (7-for-14) and took a quick 7-0 lead. Allatoona shot only 20 percent (3-of-15) and missed eight of its first nine shots.
But in the second quarter, Allatoona hit eight-of-nine shot attempts to get right back in it while the Eagles went cold.
“Once we had the lead, it was like ‘it’s my turn’” North Cobb coach Greg Matta said. “We had a couple of guys that played their guts out and we had a couple of guys that played selfishly. When you play championship basketball games against teams like Allatoona, you’re supposed to execute.”
Allatoona changed the tempo in the second quarter by attacking the basket against Allatoona, even with the 6-foot-9 Kalina covering the paint. The game changed in the Bucs favor early in the second quarter when the they went on a 15-0 run that started with a slam by Brown. He also had a pair of three-point plays during the run.
His second three-point play gave the Buccaneers their first lead at 20-18 with 4 minutes to play in the half. Allatoona continued building on that lead with a layup by Fowler and a 3-pointer by Shamar Griffin.
Crute scored seven straight points for North Cobb Christian to tie it at 25-all before Fowler made a 3-pointer from the left corner at the first half buzzer.
“Once we settled down and started attacking the basket, even with a 7-footer in there,” Hood said, “we got into a flow offensively and defensively.”