CHICKAMAUGA - It took Gordon Lee senior Daniel Brooks 31:57 to make his first three-point basket on Friday night, and for Trojan fans, it was well worth the wait.
With 3.2 seconds remaining in regulation, and his team deadlocked in a 57-57 tie with Darlington, Brooks' open look from the corner found nothing but net and the Trojans claimed a 60-57 victory in their regular season finale.
Not only was it Brooks' only three-pointer of the game, it was the only three the Trojans connected on in the second half after making just two in the first two quarters.
A 7-0 first-quarter run but the home team up 13-6 early, but as would be the story all night long, Gordon Lee (14-11, 9-3) was never able to put enough of a cushion between themselves and the gritty Tigers.
Gordon Lee would lead by five points in the second quarter, and by four, 32-28, at intermission. Six quick points in the first 1:15 of the second half would put the Trojans up by as many as 10 points, but Darlington would continue to claw their way back into game.
With Gordon Lee struggling from the perimeter, Darlington would go on a 19-5 run to take a four-point lead in the final minute of the third quarter before going into the fourth quarter up 47-45.
Brooks would hit a pair of free throws with 6:14 left to the knot the game at 52, and a Ryan Armour mid-range jumper with 2:54 left would put the Trojans up by two. However, Jermiah McClure immediately answered for the Tigers, tying the game at 57 with just 2:39 to play.
After both teams misfired on three-point attempts, Gordon Lee called a timeout with 1:39 remaining and proceeded to take 32 seconds off the clock before calling timeout once more. When the ball was put back in play, they took all but 18.3 seconds off the clock, then called one final timeout to set up a potential game-winning shot.
Passing the ball around the top of the key, Brooks was able to get free in front of the Gordon Lee bench and swished the open three as the final seconds ticked away. Darlington called and was awarded a timeout with 1.4 seconds left, but a final 50-foot desperation heave hit off the backboard as time expired.
Armour had 21 points in the win. Brooks finished with 14 and Wilson had 10. The Trojans also went a sparkling 13 of 16 from the free throw line in the win.
Darlington had only five players score, but all finished in double figures. Hector Picon led the way with 14 points. Will Sparks had 12, followed by Hackett Shiflett with 11 and McClure and Kwabe Kumi with 10 each.
The next game for both teams will be during the Region 6-A tournament, which gets underway on Monday. The tournament will be held jointly at Mt. Paran Christian and the Walker School.