It was a wild one at Kestrel Heights on Saturday as the Hawks defeated Voyager Academy 74-72 on a last-second field goal by Jayvis Harvey.
Harvey exploded in the final 30 seconds, scoring eight points to lead the comeback. It started with his team down 70-66 after a layup by Voyager’s Jordan Beale. Harvey knocked down his first 3 from the wing to cut the lead to one. Jordan Love calmly stroked two free throws to push things back to three, but Harvey knocked down another triple on the ensuing possession to to tie the game.
“I told my team, ‘We’re not gonna lose. Give me the ball. I’ll knock em down.’” said Harvey.
Voyager had possession with 12 seconds remaining, but a rushed shot by Blake Buchanan went out of bounds, giving Kestrel Heights a chance to win it with 3 seconds left.
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Javier Rogers’ half-court attempt went off the backboard and into the hands of Harvey.
Players on both sides stopped, expecting the three seconds to have ticked off the clock. But Harvey got the put-back off as the buzzer sounded – and with the clock frozen at 0.8 seconds – sending the home crowd into a frenzy.
While the victory should have been a reason for celebration for Kestrel Heights, the post-game melee turned things sour. Voyager Academy coach Mike Huff was upset with the timekeeper, who he believes failed to start the clock twice on Kestrel Heights’ final two possessions.
“All I said was, ‘Start the clock,’” said Huff. “He jumped up in my face, started chesting me up, and that’s when everyone started going crazy.”
Things didn’t calm down until the players and coaches left for their respective locker rooms.
Kestrel Heights jumped out to a 36-25 halftime lead and lived in the paint all half. Of the Hawks’ 36 points, 26 came inside. The other 10 were from the free throw line.
“(Harvey) is one of our better shooters,” said Kestrel Heights head coach Lenell Wallace. “We were questioning why he hadn’t been shooting. I pulled him over said told him, ‘Hey, you gotta shoot.’”
Voyager stormed back in the third quarter, outscoring the Hawks 25-9. The Vikings took away the paint and forced Kestrel Heights to settle for outside shots.
“The first half we just didn’t play with a lot of confidence,” Huff said. “We came back in the second half by being confident, being strong, attacking their zone and playing tougher on defense.”
In the girls game, Kestrel Heights used a monster fourth quarter to come back and stun Voyager 44-39.
Trailing by nine going into the fourth, Kestrel Heights outscored Voyager 19-7 in the final frame. Senior Zyonna Spaulding had nine points in the quarter and 22 for the game. Paris Braiser had six of her 11 points in the final quarter, including a baseline jumper with 1:57 left in the game to put Kestrel Heights up by one, Kestrel’s first lead of the game.
“We’ve had a lot of adversity this year, and I can’t be more proud of how we came back,” said Kestrel head coach Bobby Allen.
Mackenzie Allison led Voyager with 10 points.