Balanced Alachua upends Freeman-led Marion squad
Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 12:05 a.m.
OCALA — With the game on the line, the Alachua County All-Stars were finally able to shut down Marion County.
Strong defense by Hawthorne's Leamon Wilson on a potential tying 3-point shot by Trinity Catholic's Tim Sada helped Alachua hold off Marion 118-113 in the Marion-Alachua Boys Basketball All-Star Game on Tuesday night at Vanguard High School.
After Santa Fe's Montrell Flagg missed the front end of a one-and-one with 15.7 seconds left, Marion pushed the ball and Sada attempted a 3-pointer at the top of the key, but Wilson closed out on the shot and made it difficult and off-line.
Andrew Wasik of St. Francis grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 4.7 seconds on the clock.
Wasik then scored his only points of the game with a pair of clinching free throws, as Alachua celebrated the win in the 16th year of the event.
Alachua may have won the game, but Vanguard's Raheem Freeman was the real winner on the court.
Freeman set the all-time single-game scoring record for the game with 40 points on 15-of-21 shooting.
“It was a lot of fun and it was great to have the chance to come out here and play (on my home court) one last time,” said Freeman, whose previous high in an organized game was 38 points during his junior year. “I'm just working hard to try and get a scholarship.
“It's been a lot of fun having the chance to play with different players and I had fun (Tuesday), but I wish we would have won.”
Freeman scored 18 points in the third quarter, as Marion rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit.
A 3-pointer by Freeman with 8:04 left in the third quarter capped his personal 10-0 run and gave his team its first lead of the game.
Marion led by as many as seven in the second half, but Alachua battled back and took the lead for good on a basket by Williston's Tre Wilson with 16.4 seconds left in the third quarter at 86-85.
Wilson's basket was part of a 9-0 run, which overlapped the final two quarters and Alachua wound up extending its lead to as many as 14 in the fourth quarter and was up 112-99 with 3:57 remaining.
Marion made one last charge and closed to 116-113 on Freeman's layup with 35 seconds left, however, Alachua would make the plays when it needed to and held on for the win.
The Rock's Glen Feidanga led Alachua with 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting, while Wilson added eight of his 20 points in the fourth quarter.
Eastside's Sir Jackson added 13 points and six rebounds, while St. Francis' Lamine Mbodj finished with seven points and nine rebounds. The Rock's Christian Benzon scored nine points for Alachua.
For Marion, West Port's Alec Jewell scored 17 points, while Sada added 10. St. John Lutheran's Glen Owen finished with nine points and Dunnellon's Chris Jackson scored eight points.