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Prep Boys Basketball: Devils Deter Knights in OT
BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Culpeper High School boys basketball coach James Thompson had a message for his team with two seconds remaining in its Battlefield District contest against Spotsylvania Tuesday night.
Thompson told the Blue Devils not to foul even though they were up three points because the Knights were a full court’s length away from the basket.
“I said, ‘If he hits this shot from the foul line or from half court, let’s shake his hand and play four more minutes,’” Thompson said. “That’s what I said to them.”
It’s a good thing for Culpeper Thompson provided that speech.
Spotsylvania sophomore guard Darius Carter promptly drained a 3-pointer from about 65 feet away to force overtime, but the Blue Devils were undeterred as they escaped with a thrilling 90–82 victory on the Knights’ home court.
Carter said he and his teammates may have become too enthralled with his miraculous shot and couldn’t refocus in overtime.
Thompson said “without a doubt” he’s proud of the way his team responded in the extra period.
“When he hit that shot, it made me want to go crazy,” Spotsylvania junior center Bradley Anderson said. “It was really emotional.”
The Blue Devils (11–2, 5–1 Battlefield) went ahead 75–72 with two seconds left in the fourth quarter after junior guard Henry Butler connected on one of two free throws.
Carter said he knew the subsequent pass was coming his way because the play was called for him. It was the second long-distance heave Spotsylvania (5–8, 3–3) made on the night. Senior guard L.J. Durante drained a shot from just across half-court to pull the Knights within 39–32 at the halftime buzzer.
Carter said he’s hit similar shots in practice, but only because of “luck.”
“I just prayed on it, and it went down,” Carter said.
Culpeper and Spotsylvania supporters looked on in awe, but there were still four minutes to play.
The Knights were undone by turnovers in overtime (28 for the game). A basket from Miles Pemberton pulled them within 85–82 with 43 seconds left, but Culpeper converted free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Butler led the Blue Devils, who went 33 of 56 from the free throw line, with 31 points and 11 rebounds. Senior swingman Nik Stewart added 29 points.
The Knights were paced by Anderson’s 25 points and 17 rebounds.
“We got exposed,” Thompson said of Anderson’s performance. “Post play is going to get us.”
Carter added 20 points and 16 rebounds, while junior guard Alan Courtney scored 20 for the Knights, as well.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Spotsylvania, which handed Chancellor its first district loss Monday night.
The Knights were winless in 2011–12, but have made strides behind a group that had a successful junior varsity campaign last winter.
“We’re getting a lot better,” Carlson said. “We’re still young, but we have physical talents. They just need to understand the game more. They’re almost there.”
Spotsylvania visits Eastern View on Friday. Culpeper visits Caroline the same night.
Culpeper 19 20 16 20 15 — 90
Spotsylvania 18 14 22 21 7 — 82
Culpeper (11–2, 5–1): Adrian Strother 13, Nik Stewart 31, Henry Butler 29, Anthony Banks 9, Anthony Odham 0, Bruce Mosley 3, Jeremy Robson 5. Totals: 28 33-56 90.
Spotsylvania (5–8, 3–3): Bilal Marlowe 0, Clinton Ferguson 2, L.J. Durante 7, Jon Hall 1, Alan Courtney 20, Darius Carter 20, Miles Pemberton 7, Devin Kennedy 0, Sterling Carter 0, Bradley Anderson 25. Totals: 33 10-17 82.
Three-point goals: Culpeper 1 (J. Robson). Spotsylvania 6 (L. Durante, A. Courtney, D. Carter 3, M. Pemberton).
Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526