Heritage trailed for much of the game Friday, but stuck around long enough to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, setting up a back-and-forth finish that resembled the Huskies’ triple overtime loss to Leesville Road earlier in the season.
This game, however, ended differently with Heritage senior DeSean Mosby getting a steal at midcourt for the game-winning layup in the final seconds for a 60-58 win over the Pride. The win put the teams in a tie for third place in the Cap Eight, but Heritage coach Tilden Brill said the result was also a mental victory.
“It does tremendous things for us,” Brill said. “It just gives us that extra motivation. These are kind of the dog days of the season, we’re playing everybody twice and to get a win like this, guys are excited to go back and practice so I think it just emotionally uplifts us. ... I just loved our intensity today. I’ve been waiting for it for about three or four months.”
With the game tied at 58, Leesville Road had the ball with less than a minute remaining. Leesville (10-8, 5-3 Cap Eight) passed up an open shot, and Heritage doubled the ball near midcourt, allowing Mosby to get a hand on the ball for a steal. Leesville Road guard Alex Hunter’s buzzer beater attempt grazed rim, but was short as Heritage (12-6, 5-3) held on for the win.
Heritage saw offensive contribution across the board with Jayden Gardner leading the Huskies with 13 points, while Jarren McAllister and Ian Hinkley added 12 and 11, respectively.
Mosby scored seven of his eight points in the final frame.
Hunter led all scorers with 21 points for Leesville, and Jonathan Mebane added 14.
Leesville Road will host second-place Broughton Tuesday.
Funderburk leads Pride girls
Junior captain Kelly Funderburk led Leesville Road (10-8, 3-5) with 27 points to help break a three-way tie for fifth place in the Cap Eight standings with a 44-33 win over Heritage to start the second half of conference play. The win put the Pride in a tie with Sanderson for fourth place.
The Huskies trailed by 10 points after one quarter and made it a two-possession game before halftime, but turned the ball over nine times in the third quarter as Leesville pulled away again.
Funderburk, who scored 12 of the Pride’s 14 first quarter points, made her impact felt on the court from start to finish. When Heritage opened the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run, Funderburk broke the drought and scored on four straight Leesville Road possessions to put the Pride up by 15.
Heritage (6-12, 2-6), was without freshman guard Alissa Smalls, who was the only Huskies player averaging double digits before she went down with an ankle sprain in a game against Broughton last week. Heritage senior Synclair Pender tried to keep the Huskies in it, scoring 10 of her team-high 15 points in the fourth quarter.
The win came after Leesville, which has had three of its conference losses come by two points or less, nearly upset conference leader Millbrook on Wednesday.