Abbeville High School boys basketball coach Doug Belcher had some simple advice for Kennan Gilchrist.
The senior forward could not get any of his shots to drop throughout the Emerald City Classic championship game against host Emerald, and he kept apologizing to his coach. Belcher told him to keep shooting, so Gilchrist kept shooting.
With a little more than a minute remaining in the game, Gilchrist finally got a shot to go down. And it was the game-clinching bucket, putting Abbeville ahead 56-54 en route to a 58-54 victory against the Vikings."It's just a blessing," Gilchrist said. "We were able to stick together as a team, and Emerald is a great team. For us just to come here, play as a team, stick together through adversity and come back and win, that's a great thing."
Gilchrist's clinching bucket followed a comeback sparked by freshman Joseph Battle. Emerald had just put together a spurt to take a 49-44 lead with 3:40 remaining, and Battle dragged the Panthers back into the game.
He started by cutting to the basket for a layup through a foul, then made the free throw. With Emerald holding a 53-50 lead, Battle drove again and dropped in another basket to pull within one.
SEE MORE IN SUNDAY'S INDEX-JOURNAL.