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Class AAA playoffs: East Hall, Davenport beat the buzzer to keep playing

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
RINGGOLD -- At this point of the season, it's all about finding a way.

On Saturday, Kyvon Davenport and the East Hall boys basketball team did just that, as Davenport rebounded his own missed shot and scored a put-back as time expired to lead the Vikings over Ringgold, 60-58 in the opening round of the Class AAA tournament in Ringgold.

"I'm proud of these guys," East Hall coach Joe Dix said. "I've been through enough of these playoff games to know that it doesn't really matter about how you play, it's whether you find a way. And our guys did that tonight.

"We didn't play very well, but we kept fighting."

Davenport typified that, scoring 23 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in the victory -- which pushed the Vikings into the second round of the state playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons (last year's first round exit being the lone exception).

East Hall (17-11) will travel to face Morgan County in the Class AAA "Sweet 16" at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Jacquen Hopkins also came up with key baskets on Saturday, including a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter that helped the guard finish with 13 points.

The Vikings led for much of the night, but not by much, as East Hall took a 33-29 lead at the half that grew to nine points after the interval.

Ringgold responded, however, closing the gap and tying the game inside the final minute. East Hall looked to hold the ball for a final shot but turned it over with 12 seconds remaining. Yet the Vikings stole possession back and set up Davenport for the winner -- and the junior responded.

"We've had so many of these this season," Dix said. "That was Kyvon's fourth game-winning shot of the season and our fifth as a team."
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