FAIRMONT – Junior Isaac McKellar’s baseline jumper with 2.8 seconds on the clock lifted Fairmont to a 68-66 Southeastern Athletic Conference boys’ basketball overtime victory over East Bladen Friday night.
East Bladen, now 7-3 in SAC-7 play and 15-5 overall, drops into a 3-way tie for 2nd place in the SAC-7 with West Bladen and Red Springs. The Eagles will host Red Springs Tuesday night. Fairmont, now 4-7 in the SAC-7 and 7-15 overall, will travel to Red Springs Friday night.
Sophomore Xavier Johnson blistered the nets with seven 3-point shots and totaled 29 points and 6 rebounds to lead the Tornado attack. Six-six sophomore Josiah Billings contributed 13 points and 8 rebounds, and Ty’rus Morris added 10 points.
Senior Zamar Lewis posted a double-double of 17 points and 17 rebounds to go with 4 blocked shots and 2 assists for East. Senior Malcolm Bolden recorded a double-double of 15 points and 12 assists plus 2 steals. Senior Jacob Nixon and sophomore Dominick Collins scored 8 points each Collins added 3 steals, and Nixon had 3 assists and 3 rebounds. Junior Lee Barnes tallied 7 points.
The Eagles opened the final period with 5 quick points to take a 47-42 lead, but Fairmont took the lead at 50-49 on a Johnson 3-ball. Another Johnson 3-ball plus 2 technical free throws pushed Fairmont ahead 55-51 at the 3:13 mark.
Lewis banged in a basket for East in the quarter, and Nixon sank 4 straight free throws. Barnes swished a 3-ball and a free throw, and Bolden connected on 2 foul shots, and senior Yontee Dobson tacked on another. Johnson’s 3-ball put Fairmont up 58-55 with 42 seconds left, but Lewis worked the paint for a 3-point play that knotted the score 58-58 with 22 seconds left.
Lewis powered in a pair of baskets, Bolden added a basket, and Collins canned 2 free throws the Eagles went up 66-64 with1:25 left in overtime. Johnson who delivered a trio of 3-point shots in the 4th period threw in 2 more 3-balls for the Fairmont points. Gabriel Washington’s basket tied the game again at 66-66 with 1:01 left before McKellar’s deciding shot.
Fairmont built an early 16-11 lead and stretched it to 20-11 at the 1st quarter break. Senior Malaki Monroe pumped in 2 early baskets for the Eagles, Bolden nailed a 3-point shot, sophomore Rodney Lacewell muscled in a basket and Collins made 2 free throws. Billings with 6 points, Johnson with 5 and Morris with 4 sparked the Tornadoes.
Collins and Bolden rang up 2 baskets each to key a 13-5 Eagle run that trimmed the Fairmont lead to 31-26 at halftime. Monroe, Lewis and Lacewell worked inside for baskets and Lewis added a free throw.
A 7-0 run highlighted by Barnes’ 3-point bomb pulled the Eagles even at 42-42 at the end of the 3rd period. Lewis battled in the paint for 2 baskets and a free throw. Bolden tossed in 2 baskets, and Nixon popped in a basket and 2 free throws.
East Bladen 11 15 16 16 8 – 66
Fairmont 20 11 11 16 10 – 68
East Bladen (66) – Dominick Collins 8, Malcolm Bolden 15, Malaki Monroe 6, Lee Barnes 7, Yontee Dobson 1, Jacob Nixon 8, Chris Harding, Zamar Lewis 17, Peyton Tatum, Rodney Lacewell 4.
Fairmont (68) – Gabriel Washington 4, Xavier Johnson 29, Tyrek Thompson 1, Issac McKellar 6, Naishon Davis 3, Ty’rus Morris 10, Deborian Powell, Damajah McRae, Josiah Billings 13,Jalil Brown 2.