The basics: East senior Mark Hartley hit a long three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Aces the win over City League champion Heights (17-2, 13-2). It was the third meeting between the teams this season, with Heights taking the first two.
Key stretches: Heights led 46-41 with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter. East’s Xavier Kelly scored to cut the lead to 46-43. After Heights guard Marquis McCray missed the front end of a one-and-one, East (13-6, 11-4) tied the score on a three-pointer by Michael McKinney with 40 seconds left. After McCray missed the front end of another 1-and-1 with 15 seconds left, McKinney drove to the right wing then found Hartley deep on the left wing for the game-winning shot.
Standouts: Hartley led East with 14 points, including three three-pointers. Kelly added 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Heights forward Davon Gill led his team with 15 points while playing without frontcourt mate and the team’s second-leading scorer, Aaron Williams, who is serving a school disciplinary suspension and should be back for sub-state.
What they said: “I saw that there were 10 seconds left, saw (McKinney) drive and he kicked it out to me,” Hartley said. “I didn’t even realize where I was at and it just happened to go in. I missed the two before that, so I figured the third time would be a charm. Hitting a shot like that on senior night is kind of a dream for us seniors.”
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“There’s no shame in losing at East on senior night,” Heights coach Joe Auer said. “I’m proud of our team, proud of the way they played. I think we’re a much better team now than we were whenever we walked in the gym tonight. Hats off to East and Mark Hartley for hitting that shot.”
What it means: Heights still has the City League championship title locked up, outright, and will be a much different team when Williams gets back. East gets a win that gives it some much-needed momentum headed into sub-state, and a win over North on Thursday should lock up a home game against Derby in its sub-state opener.
Heights: Andrews 8, D. Davis 7, McCray 12, Burton 2, Gill 14, Hines 2.
East: McKinney 3, O’Day 5, E. Kelly 9, X. Kelly 13, Hartley 14, Fralin 5.