East Lit's last rally comes up short, Eagles lose AA title game

Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 9:01pm
Staff reports

East Literature was held scoreless for the final 3:48 of the third quarter, a drought that was too much to overcome.

The Eagles, who routinely came from behind throughout the playoffs, lost 67-57 to Liberty on Saturday in the TSSAA Class AA championship game in Murfreesboro.

They almost got there, though. Sean McKissack’s jump shot capped an 11-0 run that pulled East Lit within two, 50-48, with 5:15 remaining.

The Eagles (29-7) made only two field goals the rest of the way. The last was a 3-pointer by Chris Willingham, which made it 62-57 with 41 seconds remaining. Liberty (33-3) finished with five unanswered points.

The offensive struggles started after Cheau Hendricks’ layup got East Lit within two, 36-34. The Eagles did not score again until McKissack made a pair of free throws 1:02 into the fourth. The deficit had grown to 13.

McKissack was seven for 11 from the foul line and led all scorers with 17 points. He also has a team-high seven rebounds. Willingham added 15 points.

Eat Lit earned its spot in the championship game when it rallied to defeat Boliver Central 53-50 in Friday’s semifinals.

The Lions trailed by eight, 43-35, with fewer than six minutes to play but used a 12-2 run to take the lead. Chris Willingham’s jumper with 3:01 to play capped that surge and put them ahead to stay.

Willingham scored six of his team’s final 12 points, and Bobby Scott iced it with a pair of free throws with 15 seconds remaining.

Hendricks led all scorers with 16 points, despite the fact that was just 5-for-14 from the foul line. Willingham added 11 points.