Gingpho lifts Falcons to championship game

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2015

1203-spt-Fleeta-celebrationThe Fleeta Falcons continue to roll through the bracket of the Covington Count Junior High basketball tournament after they knocked off Red Level 38-29 Wednesday in Pleasant Home.

It was a back-and-forth game from the moment it tipped off and Red Level was the first to take a lead in opening period.

Tommy Gingpho didn’t allow the lead to stand for long as he went right down the court and finished with a layup to tie the contest up 2-2.

The Tigers then got four-straight points from Matt Coleman to give Red Level a 6-4 lead.

Fleeta rallied right back with two points from Gingpho and baseline-driving layup from Trevor Brooks knotted the game at 6-6.

Red Level finished out the first period with a basket to take an 8-6 lead.

Kade Green extended the lead up to 10-6 and a jumper from Coleman and little bunny-hop jumper from Chance Russell got the Tigers off and running.

The second period rally for the Tigers continued with four-straight points from Cody Kelley gave Red Level an 18-8 lead.

Both teams kept playing aggressive and driving to the lane hard and with after hitting a pair of free throws, Gingpho dropped in bucket with 12 seconds left before halftime to leave the Falcons trailing 20-12.

Coleman converted a basket off an assist from Russell to give Red Level another 10-point advantage early in the third period.

Gingpho and the Falcons continued to claw their way back into the ball game and cut the Red Level lead down to 24-18 late in the third period.

The Falcons defense picked it up a notch in the closing minutes of the third period and held the Tigers to just six points in the period.

Four more points from Brooks, one from Travis Floyd and one from Clay Eaton left the Falcons trailing 26-24 heading into the fourth period.

Fleeta tied the contest up with 26-26 early in the fourth period and then a put back from Gingpho put the Falcons on top 28-26 with 3:40 left in the game.

Red Level then tied the game back up, but three more points from Gingpho pushed the Falcon lead up to 31-28. Kelley then made it 33-28 and Brooks nailed a dagger from downtown to give Fleeta a 36-28 lead with 1:14 left.

Shortly before that, Red Level, who started the game with no bench players, had a player foul out and were forced to finish the game with just four players on the court.

Gingpho finished off the scoring with a perfect 2-for-2 trip to free throw line to give the Falcons a 38-29 win.

Coleman led the Tigers with 11 points and Russell finished with 8 points.

“The last time we played them (Red Level), it was close,” Fleeta head coach Scott Gafford said. “I figured if we can could keep it close, that we could play with them. We did get fortunate that they only had five guys tonight and one fouled out there at the end. We got lucky, but we played hard and when you play hard the lucky things seem to go your way more. The thing that is really helping, is that they guys have all figured out what their roles are and we don’t have guys fighting over the ball.”

Gingpho led the Falcons with 21 points and Brooks finished with 11 points.

Fleeta will be back in action tonight when the face Florala for the eighth grade championship at 7 in Pleasant Home.