Courtesy of L.A. Logan GreensboroSports.com
New Garden falls to New Hope Christian in a Classic
New Hope Christian walked away last night in a one point victory over New Garden Friends School.
“We are only going to get better from this game,” said Obi-Rapu.
On this night, senior combo guards Kanayo Obi-Rapu (NGFS) and Ryan Johnson (NHC) both scored over 40 points to lead their team.
“I want to thank my team,” said Johnson. “They got me the ball whenever i needed it.”
Obi-Rapu tied his career high with 46 points, while Johnson set a new career high scoring 41. This matchup was like a prize fight between two champions.
“Kanayo is tough,” said NHC sophomore guard Lacey Gathings. “He can get in the lane and finish, and shoot it from deep.”
By the end of the first quarter, Obi-Rapu hit four three-pointers from NBA range to give the Bears a slight 23-19 lead at the end of the quarter.
“I made a couple of shots early,” said Obi-Rapu.
Johnson countered back with his own 7-0 run in the secord quarter after the Phoenix went down by 10.
“I just take it one game at a time,” said Johnson.
At halftime, the Bears were ahead 49-44. Johnson had 21 points and Obi-Rapu 36.
The Bears went up 70-58 in the third by pounding the ball inside to senior center Ikenna Smart and sophomore power forward Osi Smart; the Smart brothers.
“They switched it up on me, so I tried to get my teammates involved,” said Obi-Rapu. “It is really scary when they are on the court together.”
Led by the attack and leadership of Johnson, the NHC squad sliced their 12 point deficit to 5 by the end of the third.
After installing the 1-3-1 to slow down Obi-Rapu, the Phoenix went up 77-75 off a Johnson three-pointer.
In the last seconds of fourth the game was yet again tied at 83-83 and NHC would try and take the last shot.
While driving to the paint, Gathings was fouled and put on the free throw line for a chance to win the game with nine seconds left.
“I seen our play wasn’t working so i winged it,” said Gathings. “I said to myself, ‘I have to make at least one.'”
Gathings hit both clutch free throws to put the Phoenix up 85-83.
After a shot attempt by NGF, O. Smart hit the offensive glass and was fouled with .1 seconds left on the clock.
“I did not shy away from the moment,” said O. Smart.
He hit the first and missed the second securing a 85-84 victory for NHC.
Gatherings finished with six points for NHC.
Ikenna and Osi Smart combined for 23 points and 30 rebounds.