River shoots past Comets

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Fred Spratley, Latron Demiel and Elgin Copeland swished 10 free throws in the last 1:12 as Nansemond River won its first Eastern Region tournament game since 1998 Monday, defeating visiting Granby 63-54 in overtime. After being outscored in two of the first three quarters (and tied in the other), the River offense exploded for a 27-13 surge in the last 12 minutes.

The Comets took the lead midway through the second quarter, and extended it to nine with 3:38 to play in the third. Spratley and Marquie Cooke (who was held to five points) scored three points, but Jason Arrington hit a jumper to go up 41-33 with :21 seconds left. Then Latron Demiel started the rush that eventually gave the Warriors the game, sinking his fourth three-pointer of the game at the buzzer.


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Dennis Conley and Alvester Franklin

scored three quick points to open the fourth quarter. Rashad Brehon swished a three-pointer with 4:19 to go, but Franklin hit a jumper and free throw 10 seconds later to get within 44-42. Jason and Terrance Arrington scored to get to 48-42, but Franklin and Demiel hit three free throws to cut the lead to three with just under two minutes left. Terrance hit a jumper, but Franklin knocked in four points with 28 seconds, and the Warriors were within one with a minute left.

Brehon brought the ball upcourt, and collided with Cooke. The ball went out of bounds, and River had possession with 50 seconds to go. Spratley attempted to drive the left baseline, but he was fouled with :27 left. He missed the first free throw, but made the second to tie the score.

After a River timeout, Jason inbounded to Kendrick Easley, who passed to Brehon under the basket. Stalling, Brehon dribbled toward the left sideline. He picked the ball up to pass, but found Cooke and Conley staring him in the eye.

He called timeout, and threw an inbound pass to Terrance with six seconds left. Terrance attempted to fake out Franklin, but the Warrior wasn’t fooled, blocking Terrance’s shot as the buzzer sounded.

Terrance got revenge to open the extra period, taking the jump ball in for a dunk only second into overtime. Unfortunately for the Comets, it would be their only field goal of the period.

Franklin hit a free throw with 3:12 left, and Granby ate more than a minute off the clock. With just under two minutes to go Jason put up a jumper from the left side. He missed, and Copeland pulled down the rebound and sent a pass to Cooke, who banked home his first field goal of the game to give River a 53-52 lead.

Bobby Rome attempted a layup, but Copeland blocked in, and the ball went to Spratley, who was fouled with 1:31 left. He sank both free throws to get to 55-52. Jason was fouled with 1:15 left, but he missed both free throws, and Demiel grabbed the rebound. He was immediately fouled, and sank both free throws.

Jason missed a three-pointer, and Franklin snared the rebound. He passed to Spratley, who was fouled with 29 seconds on the clock. He again went two-for-two, and the Comets could only push in two more free throws.

The Warriors will play the winner of the Hampton-Princess Anne game on Wednesday (time and location have not been announced). In other action, Lakeland let a 20-point lead slip away in a loss to Norview.