Philip Franks, Essex

Essex junior Philip Franks watches his shot, Tuesday, Feb. 11.

The Essex Trojans eliminated a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit, but Clarinda Academy grabbed the lead back in the final minute and held on for a 58-55 district tournament win over the Trojans.

The 55 points was the most Essex scored all season and it was the closest game of the season for the Trojans, who ended the year with a 0-18 record.

The Eagles beat the Trojans for the third time this season and advanced to a district quarterfinal with a 4-15 overall record.

Essex led early and was even at 12 through one quarter. Clarinda Academy took the lead early in the second quarter and extended the margin to 30-23 at halftime. The lead was 12 after three quarters, but the Trojans fought back.

A lot of the fourth quarter points came at the free throw line for Essex with Tucker Hadden and Wesley Johnson combining for seven made free throws in the final period.

Hadden finished with 23 points. Johnson added 13 and Preston Driskell scored 11 for the Trojans. Hadden and Johnson secured eight rebounds each.

Emanuel Arredondo led the Eagles with 20 points.

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