It had the look and feel of a title fight Friday night at Glenbrook School, and the fans got to see two bitter rivals trade punches in a game that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
The Apaches trailed their neighbors from Claiborne Academy by 11 points in the fourth quarter before they got hot from behind the arc.
That coupled with tremendous defense allowed Glenbrook to win going away. When the final horn sounded and the comeback was complete, students rushed the court to celebrate a 71-64 win.
“This was just a very good high school basketball game,” Glenbrook boys head coach Jeff Dalton said. “It was two good teams, playing before a packed house and giving great effort.”
Trailing by seven points at the half, Glenbrook failed to cut into the Rebel lead in the third quarter, but the fourth quarter was a different story.
For the second straight contest, the Apaches saved their best for the fourth quarter. Joseph Windham led the charge back, scoring 26 of his team-high 30 points in the final period.
When Claiborne’s second leading scorer fouled out mid-way through the fourth quarter, Glenbrook seized the momentum for good, pressuring a Claiborne team short on depth into turnover after turnover.
With 1:58 to play, Glenbrook trailed 62-56.
Windham knocked in a 3-pointer to cut the lead to three, then Lemoris Jackson Jr. got a steal and a layup to cut the lead to one. After another steal, Windham found senior Garrett Sanders down low who was fouled and went to the free-throw line and hit one of two to tie the game at 62.
The Apaches came up with a third staight steal, ran through a good halfcourt set and got a wide open look at a triple from the top of the key for Windham who drained the shot and gave the Apaches a lead they would never relinquish.
“We won this game in the fourth quarter, just like we did against Tallulah,” Dalton said. “Our defensive effort in the fourth was as good as we’ve given all season.”
Glenbrook outscored Claiborne 27-13 in the final quarter.
“To come down from 11 points early in the fourth to win by seven is something my guys should be really proud of. I want to thank our fans and our students for showing up, being loud and playing a big part in this win.”
Windham’s 30 points and nine rebounds led the way for Glenbrook, followed by Jackson with 11, Da’maza Robinson and Cade Conterez with nine and Garrett Sanders with eight points to go with 12 rebounds.
The Glenbrook Lady Apaches fought to the finish against the No. 1 team in Class AA, but the Claiborne Lady Rebels had just enough to outlast the Lady Apaches in a tight fourth quarter, winning 40-31.
“We knew coming into the game it was going to be a very physical game,” Lady Apache head coach Rendi Dillard said. “Claiborne Academy plays at a very fast pace and we knew we would have to slow the game in order for us to get good looks offensively.”
Glenbrook did a good job of slowing the pace and getting good shots, but early foul trouble and untimely turnovers late would prove impossible to overcome.
“When we got in foul trouble it hurt us,” Dillard said. “Eight of Claiborne’s 12 points in the first quarter came from the free-throw line.”
The loss moves the Lady Apache’s record to 16-1 and despite the loss, Glenbrook moved up to the No. 4 spot in the MAIS Class rankings.
“The girls played extremely hard and I’m proud of them for that. We’ll make the necessary adjustments and be ready to play them again at their place.”
Senior Carsin Spurlock led the Lady Apaches with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Megan Sims added nine points on a good shooting night, followed by Amelia Christy with five points and Olivia Dalton with three points and 12 boards.