Trojans Advance to Conference Championship with Thrilling Win

Garner and Knightdale met for the third time this season on Thursday night inside Trojan Coliseum, but unlike the first two meetings, this one lived up to the billing. Despite the fact that Garner only trailed once, by one, early in the game made little difference as the Knights hung close but had the late rally fall short as the men of Troy advanced to another Greater Neuse River Conference Tournament Championship game with a 54-50 win over the Knights.

Knightdale (14-11) trailed by just three (31-28) at halftime and managed to stay close throughout the second half falling behind by no more than six at any point. With the Knights hanging close, the Trojans relied on its senior leader, Demarcus Sanford, who scored 15 of his game-high 21 in the second half to keep the Knights at bay.

However, Knightdale would not go away as they continued to chip away at the Garner (21-3) lead cutting it to just two points (52-50) with 22 seconds left. Following a timeout, the Knights took the ball inside and missed a couple of layups before Sanford boarded the miss and on the play, the Knights were hit with a technical foul with just a few seconds left - after a couple of Sanford free throws, the Trojans were able to sustain the lead and knock off Knightdale for the ninth consecutive time in the series. 

The Trojans had only two players who registered points in the second half as Jasper Stallings contributed eight of his 12 in the second half for the four point win.

Garner will advance to the Conference Tournament Championship game Friday night against the Clayton Comets who defeated Southeast Raleigh 65-57 on Thursday night. The contest will be held inside Garner's Trojan Coliseum and tip-off is slated for 7:00.

Preceding the game will be the girls championship tilt, also at Garner pitting Southeast Raleigh against East Wake, that contest will tip-off at 5:30.