One Rolesville basketball team was impressive on Friday while another was just plain remarkable.
The Rams girls team never trailed Harnett Central in earning a 42-34 win. But it was the Rolesville boys that really put on a show.
Trailing by 16 points with less than seven minutes remaining, the Rams mounted an unforgettable comeback to defeat the host Trojans 55-51.
Rolesville trailed 47-31 early in the fourth quarter before finishing the game on a 24-4 run. After Messiah Harvin-Cleveland tied the game on a layup in a frantic final minute, Ricky Clemons gave the Rams the lead with a pair of free throws with 11 seconds on the clock.
“I just knew we weren’t going to give up. We knew we needed a lot of stops. We knew we had to execute. If they fouled us we had to knock down free throws; we had to make layups. We just had to make stops,” said Clemons, who led all scorers with 32 points.
The comeback was even more remarkable considering the Rams (9-13, 6-6 Greater Neuse River 4A) are out of the playoff picture. The loss put Harnett Central (9-11, 4-8) against the ropes and the Trojans will need to win their remaining two games to have any hopes of a postseason berth.
“We had to keep playing. We knew we were down big and we just made stops,” Clemons said. The sophomore scored 21 points after halftime including 12 in the final period.
The Trojans managed just one field goal in the fourth quarter and none during the final seven-minute push by the Rams. Ian Jones finished with 14 points and Moashaun Bristow added 12.
The Rolesville girls showed a similar sense of urgency, albeit for different reasons. The win evened the Rams’ record at 11-11 (6-6) and put Rolesville on the cusp of the playoff picture with still two games to be played.
The Rams never trailed in the game but also never led by more than eight points. Nursing a 33-32 lead midway through the fourth quarter, Rolesville strung together a 9-0 run to seal the victory. Jaylin Powell and Valencia Carroll scored 11 points apiece for the Rams while Michaela Cabe did the same for the Trojans, who dropped to 8-11 (5-6) and will likely need to win twice next week to stay in the playoff picture.
“We kept our composure, moved the ball and played good, solid defense,” Rolesville coach Clinton Williams said.