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Archer pulls out close win over Brookwood

LAWRENCEVILLE — Archer took a lead in the third quarter and withstood a late push from Brookwood to defeat the Broncos 53-48 on Tuesday. The loss was Brookwood’s first of the season.

“I am so proud of our players,”Archer head coach Tim Watkins said. “We had a rough week last week losing three region games. So to bounce back like this was big.”

Archer (4-4, 1-3) jumped out to a lead early thanks to some stingy defense and 11 first quarter points from John Gillis, but Kendall Joseph’s dunk as time expired in the period cut the Tiger lead to one at the end of the period. Archer would keep that one point lead through the second quarter, going into half with a 28-27 lead.

The Tigers took control of the game, however, in the third quarter.

Brookwood’s speedy guard duo of Deion Dedeaux and Micah Kinsey found little room to maneuver in the lane and Archer’s defensive intensity forced a lot of Bronco turnovers and blocked shots. Brookwood scored just seven points in the third quarter and trailed 41-34 headed to the fourth.

“Our defensive intensity was great all night,” Watkins said. “They have been battling so hard and tonight it finally paid off for him.

Furthermore, Kwei Lartey went on the attack on the offensive end and played much more aggressively in the second half. His length and ability to get to the rim was difficult for Brookwood to stop. Lartey finished with 16 points and six rebounds.

Brookwood (6-1, 2-1) wasn’t done just yet. After getting fouled on a couple baskets and completing the free throw attempt, the Broncos had cut the lead to five with one minute to play.

The Broncos called timeout and drew up a play to get RJ Smith open, and he hit his third three pointer of the game to cut the lead to just two.

After Archer missed a one-and-one opportunity at the other end, the Broncos had a chance to tie the game with 15 seconds left. However, their free throw attempt came up short, and Lartey iced the game with some clutch free throws.

“(Lartey) was huge tonight,” Watkins said. “He is a first year starter and he has continued to come up big for us. He had a monster night.”

Brookwood was led by Kendall Joseph’s 11 points.

Grilis finished the game with 13 points and six rebounds, while Bill Carr had six points and five rebounds as well for the Tigers.