Smithfield’s Neuse Charter played the final minute of Friday’s 51-50 girls’ basketball victory over North Duplin with just three players and had to score and defend in the final seconds to secure the win.
Neuse started the game with seven players. One fouled out with seven minutes left and another was injured a minute later, leaving only five players.
A second player fouled out with 1 minute, 9 seconds left, cutting the team to four. Another player fouled out with 25 seconds left.
“I told the three remaining players to set up in a triangle zone,” Cougars coach Daniel Casey said. “North Duplin scored quickly to take a 50-48 lead with 15 seconds left. We got the ball in to freshman Lacey Jones, who showed great poise by dribbling through the North Duplin press.”
Jones pushed the ball upcourt and evaded three Rebels defenders before pulling up for a 23-foot 3-point shot for the winning bucket.
“We then fell back to the triangle zone, and North Duplin missed a shot at the buzzer,” Casey said. “Our players didn’t quit, and Lacey Jones stepped up and made the shot of her life!”
The Cougars, a second-year NCHSAA program, are 3-5 in the Carolina 1A and 6-10 overall.
Marshall, who averaged 222 yards rushing per game in the playoffs, is expected to pick Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, James Madison or N.C. State.
He has a 4.3 overall GPA.
“It is a tough place to play,” Gray said. “East Wake played well, and we managed to hang on in overtime and get out of the gym with a win.
“We don’t have a bunch of great players … . We’re much better as a team than we are as a group of individual players.”
Garner is 16-1 with a loss to Millbrook.
“I loved the atmosphere tonight,” Thompson said. “I’m speechless. The crowd jumped on me after the game, and I just loved it. … This feels like a state championship tonight.”
The Falcons’ win left Jordan (16-1, 4-0 PAC-6 4A) with sole possession of first place and Northern Durham (13-5, 3-1) in second place.
Thompson led Jordan’s scoring with 16 points, and Mike Lee and Chris Braswell each added 13.
East Carolina signee Kentrell Barkley scored 22 of his 32 points during the first half to help Northern Durham fight back from an early 24-16 deficit to lead 34-33 at halftime.
Bugg, who is 6-foot-4, made 10 of 16 3-point attempts and is 49-of-115 on 3-point attempts this season.
W.E. Warnock and D. Clay Best contributed to this story.