Gains drains three-pointer to be state bound
By Kendall Patterson
At the start of the season when the Eagles were 0-6, it would have been hard to believe that the Eagles are in their current position. The CCHS Eagles basketball team of 2022-23 has now made Chester County High School history by advancing to the state tournament.
As the Eagles competed against their opponents throughout the season, they improved and improved to only getting five more losses to make their record entering the state tournament 21-11.
In the words of CCHS Athletic Director Brandon Pipkin, “These guys, they started off slow, I think 0-6, and they just kept on battling and getting better and better and the last three games they played has been the best played all year.”
Last Tuesday, February 28, The Eagles knocked down McNairy (60-47) in the region semifinals to advance to the region championship.
They then fought hard in the regional championship on Thursday, March 2, against South Gibson in a close game and came out on top.
The three-point lead they hat at halftime against South Gibson, (23-20), reflected the final score margin they had when the clock hit zero at the end of the game, (52-49). Being in control the majority of the game, the Eagles had a 50-49 lead when Amaria Massengill was wide open under the net for two points with under ten seconds left in the region championship for the win.
Then it was onward to sectionals which the Eagles Basketball program has not competed in since 1996.
The Eagles started the sectional game against the Murfreesboro Central Tigers with incredible energy on both defense and offense with multiple steals and multiple three pointers. All except one of the players that got in hit a three-point shot. This enabled them to have a good lead most of the game.
The three-point shot that will be remembered though is the three by CCHS senior Quardarius Gains with four seconds left on the clock changing the score from the Eagles being down 64-65 to winning 67-65. Then the clock expired for the win.
CCHS Eagles Basketball Head Coach Collin McPherson said that there was not a player that was more deserving to make that shot.
“Quardarius Gains… He’s the hardest worker on the team and there’s not a better kid that could have made that last shot,” he said.
Now they will play at state for the first time since 1958.
McPherson, in his third season, expressed how proud he is for his team.
“Our guys really came out with a lot of fire, and we went up early. We held the lead for most of the game… I’m so proud of our guys, especially at the end of the season. Defensively, we really stepped it up and now being the first team in whenever to go into the state tournament. I’m just super proud of our guys.”
CCHS Principal Clay Murley stated he is proud for the team as well.
“Proud of the guys. Proud of the coaches for the effort,” he said.
Chester County fans and students stormed the court when the buzzer sounded with pure excitement and Athletic Director Pipkin is happy to see this kind of excitement at CCHS.
“It’s exciting to see to see this kind of spirit in our school, and our kids gave it everything they got and that’s what it’s all about. First sub-state win and state championship appearance since they started doing the classification system. It’s a big deal,” he said.