Could Lewisville hit enough free throws to beat rival Great Falls in the 1A basketball state playoffs?
Lewisville 69, Great Falls 63 (OT)
Lewisville hit enough free throws to nose past its rival Great Falls 69-63 in overtime on Tuesday night in the third round of the 1A boys’ basketball playoffs.
Lewisville made just 16-of-32, but crucial makes at the right time. The Lions will play Ridge Spring-Monetta at 5:30 p.m. Friday night at Bon Secours Arena in Greenville for the Upper State championship.
Great Falls trailed by as much as 11 early in the fourth quarter, but fought back to tie the game with 17 seconds left on Sincere Wilmore’s free throw. The Red Devils actually got the ball back after a Lewisville turnover but couldn’t get a shot off.
In overtime, the referees clamped down after some smack talk by both teams. Lewisville hasn’t been a strong foul shooting team this season, but Demetric Hardin and Maurice Grant combined to hit 8-of-12 free throws and help the Lions pull away in OT.
Grant led Lewisville with 17 points, while Jadakiss Talford pitched in 14. Great Falls’ Kelton Talford led all scorers with 26.
After two thrilling regular season games, one won by each school, there was huge anticipation for Tuesday night’s game in the third round of the 1A state playoffs. Minutes before tip-off the line to get in the South Pointe gym stretched from the entrance of the building all the way out to the bus parking lot.
Lewisville coach Michael McCray said he knew Kelton Talford would probably score 25 to 30 points and he was right. Talford had 10 of the Red Devils’ 15 first quarter points, several of those buckets stemming from the long sophomore’s offensive rebounding.
His breakaway dunk and a pair of 3-pointers by Wilmore put the Red Devils up 25-14 and had the red half of the crowd bouncing the gym’s foundation.
But Lewisville closed the half with the lead thanks to a 9-0 run — three straight 3-pointers by Jadakiss Talford and Maurice Grant — and led 34-30 at the break.
Lewisville’s surge continued into the third quarter, Grant scoring at the rim twice and Jayon Talford also getting into the paint for buckets late in the quarter. The Lions took a 48-39 advantage into the final period, but Great Falls charged back, tying the game late and setting up an ultra tense extra period.
Wade Hampton 61, Nation Ford 59
In a matchup of two of the top teams in the state, the third-ranked Wade Hampton Generals beat the sixth-ranked Nation Ford Falcons 61-59 on a put-back with 1.5 seconds left in the game in the third round of the 5A state playoffs Tuesday night at Nation Ford.
The Generals (21-2) outpaced Nation Ford (18-7) from the opening tip as the Falcons could never seem to find a rhythm as Wade Hampton slowed down their normally fast-paced style of play.
Nation Ford finally found that rhythm and pulled within 10 points at 48-38 with seven minutes to go in the game. The Falcons continued to cut into the Generals lead, but Wade Hampton had an answer nearly on ever other possession.
Nation Ford’s Zeb Graham and Malik Bryant took over the fourth quarter for the Falcons in leading the rally. Graham scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth and Bryant scored 10 of his 21 points in the quarter as well. Nation Ford never led until there was 49 seconds left in the game going up 59-57. The Generals tied things up shortly after that before grabbing the win.
Wade Hampton started the second half on a 8-2 run to go up 40-24 as Nation Ford turned the ball over several times in the first couple minutes of the third quarter. Nation Ford was able to keep a lot of pressure on the Generals, but Wade Hampton was methodical in looking for the best shot possible. Wade Hampton kept Nation Ford off balance as they didn’t have an answer for the Generals’ 3-point shooting.
Walhalla 74, Chester 65
Walhalla defeated Chester 74-65 in the third round of the Class 3A playoffs Tuesday night in Walhalla.
Chester finishes the season with a record of 17-6.