Late rally lifts Floyd to victory

By Dave Wagner

FLOYD — The Floyd boys basketball team may have been up and down much of this season, but the Broncos are picking up some late momentum.
Junior guard Jerrod Long converted a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left and Floyd, down by 11 points on two separate occasions before leading by nine late, pulled out a 61-59 non-district victory over Grady Tuesday night.
Long scored 27 points as Floyd (14-11) won its fourth game in a row, including victories over District 3-1A frontrunners Fort Sumner and Melrose. Senior Manny Carrillo added 12 points on four 3-pointers, while junior Brad Lee gave the Broncos a lift in the fourth quarter with a couple of steals, several rebounds and four of his six points.
“Brad played a great fourth quarter,” said Floyd coach Jeff Gillespie, who formerly coached at Grady. “He’s aggressive and fouls a lot, but he got some steals and scored some baskets for us.
“Our motto right now is to finish strong. We didn’t finish strong in the last minute and a half, but we got lucky at the end.”
Senior Jarrod Lindsey scored 26 points for Grady (15-10), which got all its points from its starters and all but one point from four players. Junior Robert Windham and sophomore Steven Carter each finished with 12 points.
“The Lindsey kid is a great kid; I’d take him any time,” Gillespie said.
Grady went on a 9-0 run to end the first quarter with a 21-10 bulge, and led 35-24 after scoring the first basket of the second half.
Floyd rallied back with a 13-3 run, but Grady opened some breathing room on Lindsey’s 3-pointer late in the period.
Down 46-41, Floyd started the final stanza with 12 consecutive points, capped by 3-pointers from Carrillo and Jason Martinez, and extended its lead to 59-50 on two free throws by Kyle Kropf with 2:35 to go.
The Broncos didn’t score again until Long’s deciding free throws, and Grady rallied for seven points from Lindsey and a game-tying bucket from Carter with 51 seconds left.
Floyd ran the clock down before Long’s go-ahead free throws. Grady missed a final shot, and Floyd secured the rebound as time expired.
Grady, which committed 16 of its 20 turnovers in the second half, defeated Floyd by three points during last month’s EPAC Tournament in Texico.
“We’ve played them twice and it’s been a total of five points difference,” said Grady coach Jim Kneipp, whose team is tied with Logan for the District 4-1A lead and facing the possibility of a playoff for the regular-season title this weekend. “Our biggest thing was we turned it over about five or six times (early) in the third quarter. That allowed (Floyd) to get the momentum, and after that it was a dogfight.”
Floyd, which ends its regular season at Dora on Friday, made nine 3-pointers but struggled from beyond the arc for long stretches.
“We live and die by it,” Gillespie said. “Tonight, we almost died.”

Fort Sumner-Elida — At Elida, Fort Sumner’s girls wrapped up a perfect run through District 3-1A by turning back second-place Elida 52-37.
Senior Sandy Fortner scored 18 points for the Vixens (25-0, 8-0 district), while seniors Kelly Fortner and Tobea Patterson added 12 points apiece.
The Lady Tigers were led by 16 points from senior Adrienne Coe.
Fort Sumner wrapped up a share of the boys district title with a 74-61 victory over Elida, getting 30 points from junior Jeremy Gauna.
The Tigers (11-11, 1-6) stayed close though the first half against the Foxes, trailing 33-31 at the intermission. Then Fort Sumner (17-8, 6-2) outscored Elida 19-12 in the third period to open up a cushion.
Ryan Fikany added 13 points and Richard Canales 12 for Fort Sumner, which leads Melrose by one-half game in the standings and could have a playoff for the title on Saturday if the Buffaloes beat Elida on Friday.
Freshman Wesley Gilmore led the Tigers with 19 points, while junior Thomas West scored 18.

Boys
District 3-1A
Fort Sumner 74, Elida 61
Fort Sumner (17-8, 6-2) —
Jeremy Gauna 30, Brenton Williamson 2, Byron Wilson 5, Ross Cortese 4, Derek Dimitroff 3, Matt Sena 3, Richard Canales 12, Tim Segura 2, Ryan Fikany 13. Totals 26 17-27 74.
Elida (11-11, 1-6) — Dylan Radcliff 9, Thomas West 18, Tom Sullivan 4, Trenton Chenault 9, Wesley Gilmore 19, Ryan Best 2. Totals 22 12-19 61.
Fort Sumner 16 17 19 22 — 74
Elida 17 14 12 18 — 61
3-pointers — Fort Sumner (5); Gauna 3, Canales, Sena. Elida (5): Gilmore 3, Chenault, Radcliff. JV score — Fort Sumner 49, Elida 30.

Non-district
Floyd 61, Grady 59
Grady (15-10) —
Jarrod Lindsey 26, Colt Grau 8, Steven Carter 12, Robert Windham 12, Domingo Diaz 1. Totals 24 4-7 59.
Floyd (14-11) — Jason Martinez 5, Manny Carrillo 12, Kyle Kropf 7, Jerrod Long 27, Jonathan Mitchell 2, Bryan Johnson 2, Brad Lee 6. Totals 23 7-12 61.
Grady 21 12 13 13 — 59
Floyd 10 14 17 20 — 61
3-pointers — Grady (7): Lindsey 5, Windham 2. Floyd (8): Carrillo 4, Long 3, Martinez.

Girls
District 3-1A
Fort Sumner 52, Elida 37
Fort Sumner (25-0, 8-0) —
Kelly Fortner 12, Kayla Britain 4, Leslie Wood 5, Tobea Patterson 12, Sandy Fortner 18, Lindsey Mansell 1. Totals 21 8-14 52.
Elida (15-7, 5-2) — Alicia Cross-Smith 2, Casey Ford 4, Kodi Armitage 9, Adrienne Coe 16, Lindsey Smith 4, Shalie Anthony 2. Totals 13 8-19 37.
Fort Sumner 11 13 11 17 — 52
Elida 4 12 6 15 — 37
3-pointers — Fort Sumner (2): S. Fortner, Patterson. Elida (3): Armitage 3. JV score — Fort Sumner 39, Elida 22.