Warriors escape in OT, 53-50

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 4, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

What began as a lackluster contest exploded into a gut-wrenching war on Friday, as host Lakeland and Nansemond River battled to overtime before the Warriors came away with a 53-50 victory. Vaughn Wilson scored a game-leading 25 points and Andre Jones hit two free throws in the final 14 seconds to get coach Ed Young his first Southeastern District victory.

&uot;We got a win, and I’m happy,&uot; Young said. &uot;We were a little raggedy on execution at first, but I expected that. When we really needed it, like in overtime, we had it.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

Neither offense truly got going throughout the first half, which ended with River up, 19-17. The Warriors, which had been leading since the three-minute mark of the first quarter, extended their lead to four early on, but Durrell Skeeter, Erik Oliphant, Tyrone Parker and Corey Davis all scored as the Cavaliers tied things at 26 five minutes in. Aston Williams hit a pair of free throws to get Lakeland the lead, and Voyland Cooke (who now has to figure out a way to defeat the team that his brother Marquie helped turn into one of the state’s best over the past four years) buried a three-pointer with a minute left.

Wilson hit a jumper of his own, and Effren Johnson swished a free throw to tie the score as the quarter ended, and Wilson sank a three-pointer to retake the lead in the first minute. Jeffrey Cook neutralized the long shot with one of his own, and Williams nailed a jumper from just outside the paint. That’s when the jammed gym started to get into things for the first time all night.

Thomas Scott and Wilson scored four fast points for a 38-36 lead, but Oliphant cut the lead in half with a free throw, and Jaleel Nelson gave Lakeland a 39-38 advantage. Wilson hit a pair of one-pointers, but Skeeter banked home a bucket with 3:09 to go.

Keith Josey drove through the paint, and was fouled. He hit both free throws, and Lakeland called timeout.

With 2:35 to go, Oliphant tied the score at 42 with a free throw, and River went into a stall. NR called timeout with 1:13 left, but a pass went out of bounds with 45 seconds to go, and Lakeland got the ball.

Cooke tossed up a jumper with 20 seconds to go. It missed, and Josey pulled in the rebound. He sent the ball to Wilson, who hurtled into the paint. Three Cavaliers got in front of him, and the ball bounced away. Several players dove at it, and no one corralled it in time to get off a shot.

Josey started off the period by hitting a free throw. A Lakeland shot went awry, and Wilson pulled in the rebound. He was fouled, and swished two more one-shots to get ahead 45-42. He quickly pulled in another rebound, and sent a half-court pass under the basket to Cameron Evans, who banked home a layup with just under two minutes to play.

Lakeland called timeout, and Cooke sank two free throws with 1:35 left. Skeeter broke away for another bucket 29 seconds later, but Wilson weaved through the defense for a quick layup.

Cooke hurried across the paint and missed a layup, but Tyrone pulled it down and bounced it right back in with 35 seconds left. Four seconds later, Wilson swished two more free throws, and Davis tossed a rebound back to get to 51-50 at the :17 mark.

Wilson brought the ball across midcourt, and passed to Josey, who hit Jones. Jones was fouled, and the crowd went into full blown din mode. Tuning them out, Jones hit the second free throw.

Three Warrior defense trapped Skeeter in the corner, and he snuck a pass toward the middle. Wilson and Davis reached the ball at the same time, and the ball got away from them. Jones got it, was fouled, and hit another free throw with three seconds left to finish the win.

Lakeland will go for its first district win Tuesday at Oscar Smith, while the Warriors go to Deep Creek.