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Livingston’s buzzer-beater advances Bulldogs

The King’s Fork High School boys’ basketball team advanced to the Class 4A state tournament after a last-second shot against Menchville High School on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs and Monarchs matched up at Smithfield High School in what was likely the most anticipated matchup not only in Hampton Roads but the state as well. Both teams had been regarded among the best in the state in Class 4, and both were expected to contend for a state title. The Bulldogs were able to escape with a 68-67 win.

“I was just excited for my kids more than anything,” Coach Rick Hite said. “They have been through a lot to be a young team, with the schedule we played and the expectations. I was just so happy for them.”

The first quarter was controlled by the Bulldogs, as they were able to get going and build a lead over the Monarchs. Tyler Chatman was able to chip in a couple of three-pointers during that first quarter that got the ball rolling for the Bulldogs, as they had a 21-17 lead after one quarter. In the second quarter, the Monarchs were able to close the gap, making a run of their own as they headed into half time with a 34-32 lead.

The second half, much like the first half, was a back-and-forth game with no team holding a lead of more than seven. In the last two minutes of the game, the teams traded baskets, but a free throw by Menchville gave them a 67-65 lead with 45 seconds left. After inbounding the ball quickly after and running down the clock a bit, the Bulldogs decided to call a timeout. Shortly after, a sideline pass went to Jayden Epps with five seconds left on the clock. As defenders closed in on him on his way to the basket, he kicked it out to Quentin Livingston, who sank the corner three-pointer.

The entire gym erupted, with fans tackling Livingston to the ground.

“That moment just felt great,” Livingston said. “Epps trusted me, and I just knew it was win or go home.”

Chatman led the way in scoring for the Bulldogs with 16, while Epps added 14 and Livingston finished with 12. George Beale added 10 points.

King’s Fork now advances to the Class 4A region championship game, and they secure a state tournament berth. The Bulldogs will take on Wilson High School at King’s Fork at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and the Bulldogs look forward to possibly winning a region title.