Central Gwinnett freshman Jordan Adams should be getting used to this by now.
Adams hit four of his last five free throws and a big three-pointer late in the fourth quarter to help seal a 63-61 Central Gwinnett win over Collins Hill to advance in the AAAAA state tournament.
Adams finished with 22 points in the victory. He sat out seven games in January and just got back into the team’s rotation during the region tournament because of the hamstring injury.
Stepping up in the moment is something Adams is starting to get used to.
Six months ago, the 6-3 wing lined up under center for the Black Knights football team and won three of the last five games of the year for the football team as the starter. On Saturday night at Collins Hill, Adams came off the bench to help lead his number four seed team knock of one of the hottest teams in the state on the road.
“I tell you what, he was huge tonight. He’s a big time player,” Central Gwinnett head coach David Allen said after the game. “He has a great feel for the game. His knowledge of the game really showed there at the end. I was proud of him and the rest of our guys. They played their hearts out.”
Indeed they did. Central Gwinnett never seemed intimidated by Collins Hill’s size in the post. The Black Knights relied on perimeter shooting and aggressive rebounding late in the game.
Allen said he was happy with the way his team closed out the game. His team has lost seven games this season by four points or less. Winning a close one, on the road no less, is something that his team has fought hard to do this season.
“They really endured well late in the game. That is something that we’ve struggled with this year. So the timing was perfect,” Allen said.
Collins Hill had a monster effort from Utah bound senior Jeremy Olsen. The 6-10 big man dominated the game in the first half, scoring 19 of his team’s 34 points and only missed two shots in the first 16 minutes of play. Olsen finished with 29 points (11-15 FG, 7-8 FT), 15 rebounds and four blocks in the defeat.
Speedy sophomore guard Saah Nimley added 22 points in the defeat. Collins Hill struggled without production from Reed Buck and Derek Hood. The senior starters combined for just five points in the loss.
Central Gwinnett will travel to Milton on Wednesday for the second round of the AAAAA state tournament.
For scores for all first round games, click HERE.