With Notre Dame's Cole McCormick, a sophomore 3-point shooting star, trying to will his team to a comeback win on the road, Baylor's Eli Sparkman helped seal the deal in his home gym Friday night.
The senior point guard sparked a 9-0 run early in the fourth quarter of the Red Raiders' 42-28 win against Notre Dame at Duke Arena. During the pivotal stretch, Sparkman made his third 3-pointer of the game, assisted Cameron Sparks on a great touch pass over the top and crashed to the floor after drawing a foul on a difficult left-handed layup.
The 6-foot floor general also made a 30-footer in the second quarter, and Baylor's stingy defense was vital to the victory as well.
"To be able to hit that long-range shot early was good to get the crowd back," Sparkman said of his extra-deep 3, which gave Baylor (12-4) a lead it did not relinquish. "We had a lot of people come out to see two good teams in our area play. I have been working on my game a lot, and when opportunities come my way, I have to take advantage of them."
McCormick tied Sparkman with a game-high 17 points as he shot 4-of-9 from 3-point range for the Fighting Irish (13-6).
Baylor freshman guard Zane Restelli stepped up big on the defensive end as he blocked 3-point attempts to end the second and third quarters and totaled four blocks in the game. In a sluggish first half, Al Peciulis helped Baylor to a 19-11 halftime lead with a no-look assist to a cutting Restelli, and he also made a 3 at the top of the key.
Sparkman finished 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and impressed driving to the basket as well.
"Eli is a really efficient scorer," Baylor coach Mark Price said. "When you look at the numbers, he is really good when it comes to points per possession. He takes really good shots and has a great IQ. He has been a really good player for us, and tonight he played really well to lead us."
Sparks, one of two freshman starters for Baylor, finished with seven points and 10 rebounds.
East Hamilton 82, East Ridge 45: Colby Mason scored a team-high 19 points and made five 3-pointers, while Nick Long and Juan Bullard were sharp for the Hurricanes, adding 17 and 15 points, respectively. Cadion Harris led all with 23 points, making all six of his free throws and drilling three long-range shots for the Pioneers, whose Tyree Smith scored 14.
Tyner 66, Arts & Sciences 56, OT: The Rams battled back from a nine-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter to force overtime and earn the District 4-2A home victory. Nehemiah Bloodsaw scored 14 of his 18 points in the final quarter and extra time to spark the victory in which Xavier Fisher added 14 points and Rodney Henderson had 12. Chase Pride led CSAS with 14 points, and Jarius Cameron added 12.
Red Bank 69, Soddy-Daisy 52: Four Lions scored in double figures, with Haden Spurgeon leading the way with 16 points and making four of Red Bank's 10 3-pointers. Reco Trimble added 14 points, while Nick Smith had 12 and Kris Clay 11. Soddy-Daisy's Bryson Reid scored 14 and Chad Eller chipped in 12.
LFO 74, Adairsville 65: Jamichael Davis had 13 of his game-high 31 points in the first quarter as Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (14-0, 7-0 GHSA Region 6-AAA) stayed perfect. Keenan Walker added 21 points and Brent Bowman 15 for LFO.
Gordon Lee 42, Trion 38: Sam Sartin scored 14 points as the Trojans (8-6) earned the Region 6-A public win over their rivals. Will McCutcheon added seven points for the winners, with Greyson Petty, Jerryn Skelton and Lucas Stokes pacing Trion with eight points each.
Heritage 58, Southeast Whitfield 47: Kaleb Gallman had five 3-pointers en route to a game-high 25 points for the winning Generals (7-5, 4-0 Region 7-AAAA). Carson Green added 10 points for Heritage, with Cal Rich topping Southeast with 21.
Pickens 65, Northwest Whitfield 47: The Dragons used 17 points from Luke Rogers to win the Region 7-AAAA game. Chandler Jackson had 13 points and Collin Hall nine for the Bruins.
LaFayette 60, Coahulla Creek 36: The Ramblers remained unbeaten at 13-0 and 8-0 in Region 6-AAA as Aidan Hadaway had 21 points and Jaylon Ramsey 10.
East Hamilton guard McKenna Hayes recently surpassed 1,000 career points in a win against Soddy-Daisy. The senior, a volleyball standout in the fall, has helped the Lady Hurricanes to a 4-0 start in District 6-AAA play. She has averaged 10 points per game and shot 43% from 3-point range this season.
Soddy-Daisy 61, Red Bank 22: Aliva Hall imposed her will, scoring 21 points in the home victory for the Lady Trojans. The stellar guard scored 16 of those in the first half and made three shot from beyond the arc, as did Melody Crawley.
Heritage 67, Southeast Whitfield 28: The Lady Generals (9-5, 3-1 Region 7-AAAA) rolled as Macie Collins scored 21 points and Brooke Matherly had 15.
Trion 34, Gordon Lee 23: The Lady Bulldogs (9-3) overcame a 10-point deficit in the first half to win the Region 6-A public game as I'ziah McCutchins led the way with 15 points.
Game reports compiled by Patrick MacCoon and Lindsey Young. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.