Maybe Maliek Wilcox was inspired by Clemson’s last-second victory earlier this week.
The sophomore guard rattled in a three-pointer with one tick left Friday night for South Pointe, and the final second ran off as York desperately tried to inbound the ball. The last of Wilcox' five trifectas on the night gave the Stallions a 56-53 victory over the Cougars that moves them to 2-0 in region play and drops York to 2-1.
"We got the ball in the hands of the guy that I wanted to take the shot,” said South Pointe coach Melvin Watson. “We were lucky to get out of here with a win tonight. York is a much improved and very well-coached team. I can understand why they were 2-0 in our region."
Wilcox led all scorers with 19 points and scored the final five for the home team, including two free throws with 28.9 second left. Cameron Jones had two free throws for the Cougars with 17.2 remaining to tie the game at 53.
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South Pointe had to survive a 10-0 York run to start the fourth period that erased all of the Stallions' 10-point lead. Chandler Culp had eight of his team-high 18 points in the final period for the Cougars as Myles Prosser continually found him with sharp passes from the high post. York tied it three times, including on a three-point play by Prosser with 45.1 seconds left, and Jones' free throws that made it 53-all, but they never took a late lead. That set the stage for Wilcox' last-second heroics.
"I didn't want to call timeout and give them a chance to set their defense, or change their defense," Watson said.
Wilcox balanced his scoring out and was a steadying hand all night, with six points in the opening period and 10 in the last. He hit two three-pointers in each of those periods.
Besides Culp, York got 12 from Prosser, with seven of those coming in the third period, and Cameron Jones added 10. Cort Neely joined Wilcox in double figures with 11 for South Pointe, all in the first half.
The Stallions host Westwood Tuesday and York will host Ridge View, both on Tuesday.
South Pointe 56 York 53
Individual scoring: SP - Maliek Wilcox 19, Cort Neely 11, Jkhari Miller 7, Jamicah Hemphill 2, Keshawn Veal 6, B.J. Davis 6, Isaac Ross 2, Austin Wilson 3. York - Malcolm Kennedy 8, Myles Prosser 12, Chandler Culp 18, Cameron Jones 10, Ke'Trael Lytle 2, Zay Robbins 3. Three-pointers: SP 7 (Wilcox 5, Neely, Wilson). York - 4 (Jones 2, Kennedy, Robbins). Team fouls: SP 20, York 10.
Records - South Pointe 8-4, 2-0 Region; York 7-9, 2-1.