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Boys Basketball: West Bladen 42, Red Springs 40 (overtime)

RED SPRINGS –Senior Sayaun Dent banked in the tying 3-point shot in regulation then sank the winning free throws in overtime as West Bladen edged Red Springs 42-40 Wednesday night in non-conference boys basketball action.

Leading 40-37 with 7 seconds left the Red Devils missed a free throw that would have iced the game. Knight junior Jimmy Williams grabbed the rebound and passed ahead to Kalvin Page who found Dent on the left wing. Dent’s 3-point shot banked in as the buzzer sounded.

“That’s two games in a row that we have scored at the buzzer,” said Knight Coach Travis Pait, “The kids played hard. We had to gut this one out.”

Both teams played very deliberately in the overtime and packed their defenses in the paint. After forcing a couple of Red Devil turnovers, the Knights cashed in when Dent made 2 foul shots with 43 seconds remaining that were the only points scored in overtime.

Williams who did the majority of the defensive work on Red Springs star Caleel Mitchell forced a key turnover with 14 seconds left, and the Knights held on despite missing 4 free throws in the final 2 seconds.

Dent posted a double-double with game-high totals of 15 points and 12 rebounds. Senior John Bowen fouled out with 7 seconds left in regulation and finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds.

Page and Williams followed with 6 points each, and sophmore Keshawn Lewis added 5 points. Junior Jonathan Robinson grabbed 5 rebounds.

Monte Wilkerson led Red Springs with 11 points, but Mitchell was limited to only 9 points as Coach Pait used a ‘chaser’ on him after he drained a pair of early 3-point shots.

“I hate junk defenses,” said Pait. “But he lit us up (19 points) last time. I thought we rebounded well out of that defense.” Williams was the primary defender chasing Mitchell but received help from Scott Bowen and Gerardo Reyes.

The Knights outrebounded the Red Devils 34-22. “We did a good job on the offensive boards,” continued Coach Pait. “We have got to make shots. But we didn’t whine about it or hang our heads, we just kept playing hard.”

Mitchell’s 3-point shots put Red Springs up 6-2 early, but Williams banked in a 3-point shot, John Bowen flipped in a reverse lay-up and Dent put back a follow-shot to tie the game 9-9.

Eric McBryde’s rebound basket edged Red Springs ahead 11-9 at the quarter break.

Dent drove for a lay-up and a free throw, John Bowen sank 2 free throws and Lewis buried a 3-pointer from the right wing to keep the Knights within 18-17.

Dent connected on 3 of 4 foul shots in the final 1:33 that pushed West Bladen ahead 20-18 at halftime.

John Bowen popped in a short baseline jumper, and Page drove the lane for a lay-up and a 24-20 lead.

Drew Harris put back a rebound basket, and Williams nailed a 3-point shot from the right corner to give the Knights their biggest lead at 29-22 with 2:16 left in the quarter. Eric Graham’s follow shot trimmed the margin to 29-26 at the quarter break.

John Bowen’s follow-shot started the final period, and Lewis’ pull-up jumper from the lane kept West up 33-30. A 25-foot bomb from Mitchell tied the game 33-33.

Dent canned a baseline jumper to tie the game again 35-35 with 2:56 left in regulation. Bradley Hunt’s 17-footer put the Red Devils up 37-35 at the 2:40 mark. Two Wilkerson free throws made it 39-35, before Page hit 2 free throws to close the gap to 39-37 with 10 seconds remaining.

The Knights evened their record at 2-2 and will travel to South Brunswick Friday night.

WEST BLADEN (42) – Kalvin Page 6, Scott Bowen, Jimmy Williams 6, Keshawn Lewis 5, Drew Harris 2, Sayaun Dent 15, Gerardo Reyes, Jonathan Robinson, John Bowen 8.

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