BY CHIP CIRILLO
Kanye Jones wanted the ball for the final shot, but thought he missed it badly as the ball left his hands from the right corner.
“I actually thought I air-balled it when I released it,” Jones said. “I thought it was long. It was like slow motion. Everything just froze for a second.”
Jones swished his 3-pointer at the buzzer, giving The First Academy (Orlando, Fla.) a 74-73 win over Christ Presbyterian Academy in double overtime in the loser’s bracket of the Next Level Hoops Fest on Friday night at CPA.
Jones led the Royals (5-7) with 20 points, including four 3-pointers.
“I told them before we got the timeout. ‘Look for the kickout,’ and (Alex Shields) did it, and I hit the shot,” Jones said. “I think when he came up the court, they all paid attention to him and they basically left me (open).”
Hall Perdue’s 3-point play gave CPA (10-7) a 73-71 lead with 3.1 seconds left.
CPA faces Ballard (Louisville, Ky.), a final four team in last week’s King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic, in the seventh-place game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
First Academy plays Woodward Academy (College Park, Ga.) in the fifth-place game at 5 p.m. Saturday.
CPA’s Braeden Moore, a 6-foot-7 freshman, went from zero points in Thursday’s first-round loss to Dunham, to a career-high 32 against First Academy.
He hit 11 of 20 from the floor, including five 3-pointers.
“Yesterday I missed a bunch of shots and I just went in with the mindset today that I’m going to make every shot,” said Moore, who went 0 for 9 from the field against Dunham. “It’s all in the mindset, I guess.”
CPA ran a lot of its sets through Moore since had had the hot hand.
“I could tell he was feeling good with his shot, so we were able to call some good opportunities for him,” Lions coach Drew Maddux said. “I thought he capitalized on it when it was time.”
Bryce McCormick added 18 points, nine assists and six rebounds for the Lions. McNeill Stout scored 15 points, including five 3-pointers.
CPA’s 3-point shooters were ice-cold against Dunham, but returned to form with an 11-of-24 outing against First Academy.
Jeremiah Bannister added 16 points for First Academy, which hit 60.9 percent of its shots from the floor. CPA shot nearly as well at 55.1 percent.
First Academy’s Nnamdi Nwaogwugwu hit all seven of his shots from the floor for 14 points. Shields had 11 points and five assists for the Royals, who made 9 of 21 3-pointers.
“Two shooters in the corner and put the ball in our best athlete’s hands, Alex Shields, and said, ‘Make a play,’” Royals coach Chris Mayberry said of the winning shot. “So, we wanted to get to one of the corners. I was pretty surprised it was open, honestly.”
First Academy lost to McCallie in double OT at the Royals’ tournament earlier in the season.
Woodward 61, Ballard 58
Walker Kessler scored 18 points to lead four War Eagles in double figures and blocked seven shots in a loser’s bracket win.
CPA 66, Fairview 40
Carrington Washburn scored 22 points and Libby Long added 18 for CPA (10-4) in the second round.
Providence Christian 65, Hutchison 56
Anna Caite Markham scored 20 points and Kaici Biven had 18 for Providence (11-4) in the second round.
Photo from previous game by Kindell Buchanan.