Chambers boys lose to Heritage Christian, win region

Published 9:00 am Friday, January 31, 2020

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With 28.6 seconds left in the game, the Chambers Academy boys had a chance to tie Heritage Christian with a pair of free throws. The wrong Rebel went to the line to shoot, which is a technical foul. The Rebels missed the front end of the 1-and-1, while the Eagles made both of the free throws, leading to a 56-50 loss for Chambers.

“Obviously you want to win every game, but if there is a silver lining in the loss, it’s we’re still region champs,” Chambers head coach Jason Allen said.

With the loss, the Rebels fall to 15-4 on the year, but because they won the first meeting between the two region opponents by 13, the Rebels owned the tiebreaker, allowing Chambers to have a first-round bye in the AISA state tournament.

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The Eagles came out on fire to start the game, as they hit five 3-point shots in the opening eight minutes of play. The Rebels were able to make shots as well, but they struggled to hold onto the ball, turning the ball over on back-to-back possessions three different times. Both factors allowed Heritage Christian to build a 10-point lead at the end of the quarter.

“They came out hot as a stove wood,” Allen said.

In the second quarter, the Eagles built on their lead, expanding it to 15 with five minutes left in the half. After scoring just two points in the opening quarter, junior guard Payton Allen went to work in the second, scoring seven of the team’s 13 points. He was also able to facilitate to different teammates, finding senior Braxton Allen in the paint for both of the senior’s buckets in the quarter.

The Eagles were able to hit a pair of 3-point attempts in the second quarter, but the Rebels were able to close out on the shooters better in the second quarter. At the half, the Rebels trailed by eight.

“I was proud of our kids because it could have been a really lopsided game early,” Jason Allen said. “We rolled up our sleeves and said we’re going to fight back. I was really proud of what our team did there.

In the third, the Rebels were able to find their stroke from behind the arc, as they were able to hit four 3s in the quarter. Senior Cayden Smoot drilled three of the four.

“He was huge,” Jason Allen said. “He has been working hard on his shot. He’s been spending extra hours in the gym, and it paid off for him tonight.”

The fourth quarter was a fight. If one team made a shot, the other followed with a make of their own. The difference in the quarter was the technical foul with less than a minute left in regulation.

Payton Allen led the Rebels with 19 points, while Braxton Allen added 10.

The Rebels will travel to Edgewood on Friday for their final regular-season game of the year.