Fritz's Late Acrobatic Layup Gives McCallie 53-52 OT Win Over Baylor

Senior Ends Thriller In Packed Duke Arena For Wadley's 601st Victory

Saturday, January 18, 2014 - by Larry Fleming

C.J. Fritz picked a fine to score his only points in another high-intensity McCallie-Baylor basketball game.

Fritz, scoreless throughout regulation and 3 minutes and 55 seconds of overtime, threw up an over-the-shoulder layup with five seconds left to give the Blue Tornado a 53-52 victory over the Red Raiders, 53-52, Saturday night before a packed house in tiny James Duke Arena.

“Just another typical Baylor-McCallie game,” said Blue Tornado coach Dan Wadley, who on Friday posted his 600th career victory with a win at Brentwood Academy. “They beat us by two earlier and we beat them by one on a shot at the end. Who knows what the next game will be like when we play them at our place.”

With neither team able to salt away the win in regulation, Baylor’s Matt Clendenen, who scored a game-high 23 points, made two free throws to give the Red Raiders a 52-51 lead with 17.8 seconds remaining.

Baylor, which normally relies on a pesky matchup zone defense, was in a man-to-man as the final seconds ticked down.

Fritz took a pass on the perimeter.

He took a step right and then dribbled past Baylor sophomore Spencer King and zipped to the hoop to put up an acrobatic shot while his back was practically to the goal. The ball spun off the backboard and tickled the twine on the way down.

“That was probably the biggest shot I’ve made in my career at McCallie,” Fritz said. “I saw how he (King) was playing me on my left because I’m left-handed. I called for a screen, but he jumped it and I just did a little in and out and ran by him to make the layup.”

Fritz said he told Wadley to get him to the lane and he could make an easy layup.

As it turned out, the shot was anything but stress-free.

“C.J. is really fast,” Clendenen said. “Spencer had to get back on him so he wouldn’t drive. C.J. was able to beat him off the dribble and get to the rim. He takes a lot of shots off a quick step like that, so I knew there was a chance the ball was going in.”

Said Red Raiders coach Austin Clark: “I thought we were doing a good job trapping them some out of the man defense. In hindsight, we probably could have been in a zone on that last play. We were just too high in the man. We wanted to be back because of the speed. Because of the adrenaline we got excited and were up too high.

“(Fritz) almost missed it, but he made it and that’s all that matters. That was a great shot and that’s what happens in great games. It was a typical Baylor-McCallie game and I congratulate them for making the final play.”

Baylor (10-6, 1-2 Division II-AA East/Middle Region) had enough time to get off a desperation shot – albeit contested – just inside the mid-court line, but it was far off the mark.

“We had enough sense not to celebrate after C.J.’s shot and got back to play defense,” Wadley said. “I thought we got up on them and forced them into a really bad shot.”

Adrian Thomas led the Blue Tornado (8-9, 3-0) with 13 points, JaVaughn Craig scored 12 and Cam Walker came off the bench to score 11.

Sammy Lupas added 10 points for the Red Raiders, who defeated the Blue Tornado 50-48 in December in the Best of Preps tournament at Chattanooga State.

McCallie got off to a fast start, building a 12-4 lead, but after Craig’s 3 early in the second period gave the Tornado a 15-7 advantage, the Red Raiders’ offense got on track.

Lupas started and capped a 12-3 run that gave Baylor a 17-15 lead. Gage Upshaw hit a free throw, Adam Brogdon made two and Clendenen scored on a putback between Lupas’ scoring plays.

With the game tied at 33-all Lupas and Clendenen each dropped in layups and Baylor was up 37-33 with eight minutes to play.

Craig scored five straight points while Clendenen made one free throw and McCallie had a 49-46 spread with 56.2 seconds left in regulation.

At the other end Clendenen drove the lane for a layup and was fouled by Thomas. Clendenen made the free throw to convert the three-point play and tie the game and send it into overtime.

Clendenen went 9 for 16 from the foul line and collectively the Red Raiders were 11 of 27 – Gage Upshaw was 1 for 8. Brogdon hit the only charity toss he attempted.

“This is such an emotional game and the kids are under a great deal of stress on both teams,” Clark said. “It was an exciting game and both teams had chances to win before they did.”

McCallie was 10 of 17 from the stripe and Craig was cool under pressure, hitting 8 of 7.

“Both teams struggled,” Wadley said, “because of the enormity of the game. Some of these kids were shaking up there. I would have probably shot it like they did, too, but still guys on our side will never forget this. I’m really proud of our effort.”

It will be difficult for Baylor to forget the game as well.

“It’s pretty tough, especially for the seniors,” Clendenen said. “We were playing them at home for the last time. But we beat them in the BOP, so we’re 1-1. Hopefully, we can go to their place and get them over there.”

SUMMARY

McCallie                                  12 12 9 16 4 – 53

Baylor                                     5 19 13 12 3 – 52

McCallie (53) – Fritz 2, Bowman, JaVaughn Craig 12, Adrian Thomas 13, Whitener 2, Alford 9, Clark 2, Atkins 2, Cam Walker 11.

Baylor (52) – Matt Clendenen 23, Giussani 4, Sammy Lupas 10, Upshaw 3, King 4, Maize 3, Brogdon 3, Seaberg 2.

3-Point Goals: McCallie 4 (Alford 3, Craig); Baylor 1 (Maize).

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)

 


Lee Competes In Tennessee Rust Buster Track Meet

The Lee University Track & Field teams finished their weekend with a trip to the University of Tennessee Rust Buster at Tom Black Track. The two squads combined to reach two new provisional marks and improve upon another. Adrian Martin met the provisional standard in the 200-meter dash with a fifth-place time of 24.24. The time to beat was 24.53. She also placed sixth (12.00) ... (click for more)

UTC Softball Falls To Mercer Bears 9-2

 The Chattanooga Mocs softball team couldn't tame the Mercer bats in a rubber match of a three-game series during  the opening weekend of Southern Conference play, falling to the Bears 9-2 on Sunday. With the loss, the Mocs fall to 10-22 overall and 1-2 in the SoCon. Mercer improves to 16-20, 2-1 in conference action. The Bears started the scoring in the bottom ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed In 3-Car Accident In Dalton On Saturday

There was a fatal three-vehicle crash on the South Bypass in Dalton just south of Sawgrass Drive  on Saturday  at approximately  4:30 pm . The crash happened when the driver of a black Ford Mustang traveling southbound on the bypass for some reason left its lane of travel and crossed over the center line and hit a 2004 Chevy Silverado truck head on. ... (click for more)

Car Crashes Into Motel 6 In Dalton; Driver, 17, Admits To Texting While Driving

The Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department responded Saturday morning to a crash at the Motel 6 at Highway 41 and Tibbs Road. The driver of the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix involved left the roadway and crashed into the Motel 6 building causing severe damage to one of the rooms. There were no major injuries. Investigators believe texting while driving was a contributing ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This Library Comes Alive

I am pretty positive that I haven’t stepped foot in a library in the last 50 years. Between the ever-widening Internet, with all of its search engines and infinite resources, I have got about as much use for a library as I would if I read a book about a transgender person. I have neither the time or inclination. Be like trying to teach a pig to sing – the pig always get bored. ... (click for more)