CANTON — With 30 seconds remaining and the outcome firmly decided, Etowah coach Jason Dasinger hugged Will Garvey after subbing the senior out of the game.
Garvey converted two free throws moments before, which wound end up being the final points in Etowah’s 72-58 win at Sequoyah on Tuesday night.
The embrace on the sideline is the image Dasinger envisions for his players.
“Talk about moments. I want that kid and this senior class to have moments like that,” Dasinger said. “We always talk about high school basketball being about moments, and our kids got one tonight in a hostile environment against a great team.”
Etowah (5-0) kept its undefeated record intact and did so in impressive fashion.
Sequoyah (4-2) won the opening tip and promptly scored on Myles McGee’s layup. However, it was the Chiefs’ only lead of the game as the Eagles used efficient offensive sets and a harassing defense to hold Sequoyah to 20 points below its season average.
Cole Ellis started on fire for Etowah, knocking down four of the Eagles’ five first-quarter 3-pointers and helping them build a 21-17 lead by the end of the period.
The outside seemed to open up the inside as Garvey, Will Flaig and Mason Etter began to find themselves opportunities in the second and third quarters.
“I think we have some really good players,” Dasinger said. “Honestly, we might have had one or two nicely drawn-up plays, but that was a scramble our kids just played well.”
Etter, a freshman, scored a game-high 18 points to go along with six rebounds and two assists, and he looked well beyond his years while doing so. Flaig finished with 17 points, while Ellis had 15.
McGee finished with 18 points to lead Sequoyah, but scoring did not seem to come easy for the Chiefs, who shot 34% from the field and 4-for-21 from beyond the arc. Jacksen Greco finished with 16 points and Donovan Shipp had 10.
On its final possession of the game, Sequoyah saw multiple attempts from inside the paint bounce out before Etowah eventually secured a rebound to dribble out the clock.
“That last 10 seconds was a microcosm of the game,” Sequoyah coach Allen Carden said. “We had point-blank layups and can’t stick it in the hole. Etowah beat us in every phase of the game. The little things showed up tonight, and I just thought we looked very disorganized. Etowah told us what they were going to do and they did it.”
Trailing 60-40 early in the fourth quarter Sequoyah made its final push.
A 15-6 run, helped by forced turnovers in the backcourt, brought the Chiefs within 11 points, but the hole was too big to climb out from and Etowah executed its four-corners offense well over the game’s final minutes.
The Eagles’ efficiency on offense and inbounds plays saw them shoot high-percentage shots seemingly all game long.
Etowah saw contributions up and down its lineup, particularly from senior Kavon Fish on the defensive end.
Garvey, who finished with 11 points, said the outcome of the game was not a shock to those in Etowah’s locker room.
“When we play defense like we did tonight, I think we can match up with anybody,” he said. “This was a good win tonight over a really talented team. We’re picking up some momentum now heading into region play, so that was a really big win for us.”
Etowah will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Kennesaw Mountain, while Sequoyah will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at South Cobb.