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Mayo represented well at the Bronson Holiday Tournament, winning two of three and playing a very solid game against tournament winner Dixie County.
It was unexpected that Mayo would return the following week to beat Bronson.
Win the Hornets did, however, as they came from behind in the final minute to shock the home team and fans with a 52-50 takeaway last Friday night.
The Eagles started off well with a solid first quarter run. Terrance Dukes opened with a pull-up jumper, and after Mayo's Eric McIntyre drained a three, James Rivers answered with a three for the Eagles. C.J. King also threw one in from downtown, and Rivers banked in a little jumper.
Bronson went up 17-10 in the first, and kept about the same margin through the rest of the half, as Dukes continued to lead the Eagles on offense.
William Harris had a putback as the second quarter started, but it was Dukes who drove again and again, getting to the line and putting in five second quarter points. Jermey Mayes hammered the boards and went coast-to-coast with a rebound to put Bronson up 32-25 at the half.
The second half was a different story. The third quarter was ugly both ways, as Bronson took a narrow 6-4 advantage over Mayo. Rivers got his own rebound and Dukes had back-to-back layups, and McIntyre and Jamal Reid scored once each for Mayo.
But neither team scored in the last three minutes of the quarter, in a flurry of pressure defense and unforced turnovers. In the disarray, Mayo geared up for the battle of the fourth quarter.
Kelby Barber nailed a big three-pointer just off-center to open it up. Rodolfo Contreras added a layup and Mayes threw down a rebound, got the foul and finished the free shot for Bronson?s biggest lead of 46-29.
Then Mayo went on a 9-0 run, sparked by Joseph Edwards' three-point play. King drove up the middle for Bronson for a pause in the Hornets' attack, but Mayo was undeterred as Edwards and Jonathan Sellers kept going hard to the rack.
Inside a minute, Mayo had closed within three and had to foul, foul, foul to get in the bonus and send King to the line. King made one, but a couple of steals and a big three from Sellers poised the Hornets at one down, 50-49.
With 26 seconds left, Devon Bellamy hit a three, his only basket on the night, to send Mayo up 52-50. Bronson had two tries left in the final seconds, but the shots wouldn't go, and Mayo walked out the winner.
Eagles? head coach Kelly Beckham was saddened by his team?s collapse.
"Hopefully, as tough as this is, we grow from it,"he said. "We'll see the true character of our team. I told them, in order for us to be a quality basketball team, we have to do what we do on every possession. Tonight, we did it on very few."