Sometimes the other team just makes a play.
The Clover Blue Eagles led for most of the first three quarters, and had just hit a huge three-pointer to tie the game at 45 with 13.5 seconds left in a back-and-forth fourth period. But Talon Cooper hit a long one from well behind the three-point line as the buzzer sounded and gave the Spartanburg Vikings a 48-45 victory Wednesday night in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs at Clover.
"We made the guy make a 28-foot shot," Clover coach Bailey Jackson said. "It's the playoffs. I knew when they came here they were going to be good. Their league is good."
Zach Baker hit a huge three from the left side and got fouled to tie the game at 45 with 13.5 seconds to go. Baker was unable to finish the potential four-point play and the Vikings got the rebound and called timeout with 8.8 to play.
There were five lead changes in the final quarter, including Spartanburg taking its first lead since it was 4-2.
The first half was played in about 20 minutes. Only five fouls were called, four on the Vikings. Quese Robbins had 14 points for the Blue Eagles on four three-pointers. He ended the half with a long three with a hand in his face at the buzzer.
Spartanburg scored seven of the last nine points of the third after calling a timeout at 3:02, down 34-27 after Robbins' last three. That cut the lead to 36-34 after three, and then Kelly's three to start the fourth finished a 10-2 run and put the Vikings ahead.
There were three Vikings in double figures while no other shooters got hot for Clover besides Robbins.
"We had a little trouble with their box-in-one, but we just didn't have anybody else step up," Jackson said. "It's an emotional game. It's the last game for some really good seniors. I'm proud of them. I told them they don't need to remember losing this game. They need to remember hopefully the things we've tried to teach them."
There were five lead changes in the fourth period, counting the opening three by Romaine Kelly that made it 37-36 and gave Spartanburg their first lead since 4-2. He had seven of his 11 in the final period, and they were the first seven of the final eight minutes for the Vikings. Two of those shots gave the visitors the lead and one tied it. Cooper's shot came after he missed two of three free throws in the fourth, including the front end of a one-and-one. Kelly had missed a front end with 24.9 left to give Baker a chance to tie it.
Clover's Quese Robbins led all scorers with 19 points, including five three-pointers.
"He's probably the most prolific scorer to ever go to school here," Jackson said. "He has matured so much in the last three years. He could be a tremendous player at the next level."
He had 14 in the first half.
Spartanburg was led by Uzziah Dawkins with 18. He hit four from long range.
Spartanburg 48 Clover 45
Individual scoring: Clover - Quese Robbins 19, Andrew White 5, Aaron Milner 8, Zach Baker 6, Hezekiah Massey 7. Spartanburg - Uzziah Dawkins 18, Talon Cooper 11, Adrian Briscoe 4, Damayji Foster 4, Romaine Kelly 11.
3-point shooting: Clover - 7 (Robbins 5, Baker 2). Spartanburg - 7 (Dawkins 4, Cooper 2, Kelly). Team fouls: Clover 10. Spartanburg 13.
Records - Clover: 16-7; Spartanburg: 10-14.