Mill Creek suffers heartbreaking buzzer-beater loss to PRHS Lions

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Elijah Bryant dishes an assist in their match against Duluth High School. Foster Peters/For the Paper.

In less than a second, excitement turned to despair as the Mill Creek Hawks lost 51-49 to the Peachtree Ridge Lions on a buzzer beating dunk.

From the very beginning, the Hawks were determined to prevent this game from being a repeat of the blowout they suffered at the hands of the Lions in their first meeting this season.

Center Chase Duffy opened the game with a block grabbing the early momentum. Elijah Bryant scored the team’s first seven points, making three of his first four shots. Jordan Capps Jr. of PRHS missed an early three, but anyone in attendance knew he would give the Hawks trouble due how high he jumped.

Peachtree Ridge was able to weather the early surge and eventually take an 8 – 7 lead on a three pointer. On the very next MCHS possession, Eric Ritland responded with a three to retake the lead for MCHS. Duffy added a two of his own and MCHS ended the first leading by two.

Coaches from both sides were fired up in a very competitive and emotional second quarter. The Lions immediately tied the score with a two on their first possession of the quarter.

Austin Ragsdale responded with a three, but two straight buckets by the Lions gave them a one point lead. A dunk by Capps increased the PRHS lead and it was clear they had the momentum.

Bryant missed his next three shots and Brandon Smith had his shot blocked. The Hawks didn’t let the game get away from them and went into the half down by just four points.

Despite being down, this game was completely different from their first match up for the Hawks. MCHS star player Trevon Shaw was held scoreless in the half; it was something both teams knew wouldn’t last.

On the first possession of the second half, Ritland scored two points and then Shaw followed with a three to give the Hawks the lead. The Lions retook the lead on the next possession, but PRHS committed a technical foul which allowed the Hawks to tie the game up.

A dunk by Capps gave the lead back to the Lions. Peachtree Ridge was able to increase their lead but Shaw tied the game at 33. Multiple lead changes and a lay up by Shaw tied the game once again to end the quarter. Shaw scored 11 of the teams 18 points in the quarter.

A three by PRHS opened up what would turn out to be a very entertaining fourth quarter. The energy was high in the building as PRHS tried to pull away from the feisty Hawks.

Down by three, Shaw missed a shot and Bryant picked up the rebound only to miss his shot and have it rebounded by Shaw. Shaw hit a three, but the Lions responded with a three of their own.

Down 45-42, MCHS called a timeout with less than four minutes left. PRHS had the ball before Ritland deflected a pass that allowed Shaw to get the easy lay up. Down again by three, MCHS called another timeout but the Hawks couldn’t score out of the break.

As time waned, every possession was important for both teams. PRHS missed four straight shots, but the taller, longer PRHS players got every rebound until they scored. Desperation kicked in as the Hawks were down five with a minute left.

A quick bucket by Bryant brought the score within three. On the inbound, MCHS stole the pass and Shaw hit a three pointer with 25 seconds left to tie the game. On the ensuing possession, MCHS forced PRHS to miss three consecutive shots. PHS got one more rebound and did the unthinkable as time expired.