SNELLVILLE -- After Shiloh guard Nate Mason scored 10 points in the third quarter, the Generals finished off the period up 52-36 on visiting Berkmar. The Patriots looked like they were going to drop their third in a row.
But a suffocating eight minutes of defense changed the outcome.
James Sanders and Bradley Holmes each made key steals and free throws late in the game, helping the Patriots to a 58-53 victory over Shiloh on Tuesday.
Mason scored 27 over the weekend for the Generals but was held scoreless in the first half. He led a Shiloh scoring surge in the third period that took its lead from three to 16 after Emir Basic hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute of the third.
However, those two shots were the final field goals Shiloh would score. Only a single free throw from Mason kept the Generals (3-1, 1-1 Region 8-AAAAAA) from being held scoreless in the final eight minutes.
Berkmar coach Greg Phillips gave his players, namely Sanders, the credit for the comeback.
"Defense. It's as simple as that," Phillips said.
Sanders (six points) said it was pride that kept the team from giving up after falling behind so far in the third.
"Since the second quarter, I told them, 'This is our game,'" Sanders said. "And we came out with the win."
After a long scoring drought midway through the final period, Sanders broke through with a score with 2:04 remaining. He stole the ball away from Shiloh 19 seconds later and drew a foul, making 1 of 2 free throws.
Big man Tim Rowe, who scored 19 points, hit a shot with 1:37 remaining to bring Berkmar (3-2, 1-2) to within a single possession at 53-50. Then at the 1:00 mark, Malcolm Hannah (nine points) hit a 3-pointer in the corner to tie the game.
Holmes (six points) made a steal with 50 seconds remaining and was fouled by Shiloh's Kyle Lewis (10 points). Holmes hit two free throws to give Berkmar its first lead since early in the second quarter at 55-53.
Sanders rebounded a missed 3-pointer by Idris Taqqee with 10 seconds left and drew a foul. He made his first free throw and missed the second. But he was able to collect the rebound.
Holmes was fouled with 2.1 seconds remaining and sealed the win with a pair of free throws.
Mason and Evyn Smith each finished with 11 points for the Generals. Kip Patton added six points off the bench for the Patriots.
Berkmar girls 49, Shiloh 39
Daijah Cooke scored 13 points to lead the Berkmar girls past Shiloh 49-39 on Tuesday.
The Patriots (2-3, 1-2 Region 8-AAAAAA) used a run of 16 straight points in the second half to pull away from Shiloh (0-2, 0-2), which had led 17-16 at halftime.
"The speed of our seniors and the full-court press really made a difference at the turning point in the game," Berkmar coach Tina Smosny-McGriff said.
Cooke scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half, including four during the big run.
"Daijah is one of our senior point guards," Smosny-McGriff said. "She has the ability to penetrate. She's our floor leader. But as a team, we're still trying to eliminate some of our turnovers, be a little more disciplined. But tonight was definitely a turning point for us."
Nina Williams scored 10 and Lea Pruitt scored eight for Berkmar. Courtney Blair led Shiloh with 13, and Bria Ratliff had 10 for the Generals.