Grove, All-Stars win at ‘Canned Food’ tournament

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Oak Grove held off a late charge by the Blackhawks to secure a 50-47 victory in Adult Male competition of the Canned Food Basketball Tournament Monday evening at Birdsong Recreation Center. After Rodney Drayton swished a free throw with 34 seconds left, the Blackhawks missed four three-pointers in the remainder as the clock ran out.

The Hawks nearly ran away with the game, as Curtis Turner, Trent Norman, and Chuck May opened the game with a 15-5 run. But the three-point line, which ironically would become the Hawks’ enemy in the final seconds, became Grove’s most effective weapon.

Sebastian Yates and Lee Wilson hit four treys in 3:20 to get to within 19-14. Free throws by Charles Jackson and Leon Hymens raised the advantage to 22-14, but Yates drained his fourth and fifth three-pointers and Vincent Hill a layup to tie the score at 24, and Drayton banked home a jumper to give the Grove their first lead, a 26-24 halftime advantage.

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Drayton and Hill raised the lead to 30-24 in the first 2:16 of the second half, but Hymens rattled off four quick points to get back to 30-28. Then the Grove went back to the long shot, as Lee Wilson and Yates hit three three-pointers for a 41-28 lead with 12:47 to play.

The pair scored again, and the Grove seemed to have an insurmountable 45-30 lead with seven minutes left. But the Hawks flew back to the attack.

Norman got things going with a free throw and jumper, and he and May scored seven consecutive points to draw within five. Hill and Drayton scored four points, but Turner dropped in four of his own and Ronnie Monk dropped in his first basket of the game, a three-pointer that knocked the lead down to 49-47 with 43 seconds on the clock. But Drayton hit a free throw, and the Hawks couldn’t sink a long shot, ending the game.

Today at 8 p.m. at Birdsong, the Grove will battle the Virginia All-Stars for the division championship. The All-Stars reached the finals with a 93-64 victory over the Suffolk Police Department. Keith Artis, a member of the 2001-2 Southeastern-district winning Nansemond River High School team, led all scorers with 24 points, and Maurice Smith and Dennis Whitehead had 20 apiece.

In the earlier game, the Little Ballers defeated the Suffolk Blazers 30-27 in the 9-13 title game. With the Blazers ahead 16-10 early in the third quarter, King’s Fork Middle School student Demond Lewis scored two baskets in 21 seconds, and Xavier Boone nailed a three-pointer to get to 18-17 at the six-minute mark. Tywann Eley scored four more points for the Blazers, but Tony Smith dropped in three of his own, and sank a layup five seconds into the fourth quarter to tie the score at 22.

Neither team was able to get more than a two-point lead for the next five minutes, but Terrell Diggs scored four quick points at the three-minute mark for a 30-25 lead, and the Blazers could only manage two more points.