Charles City holds on in second half to top Lancaster 49-45
Charles City’s Panthers held off Lancaster’s Red Devils down the stretch in a low scoring, non-district basketball affair to preserve a 49-45 triumph.
Despite a close contest throughout, the host Panthers never allowed the Red Devils to forge in front after the first half. Lancaster managed a 37-37 deadlock with five minutes left in the game, but back-to-back baskets enabled the hosts to vault ahead to stay.
“We actually, for a change, made the other folks work tonight,” Panther head coach Brenner Carter said afterward.
“This team is like night and day. One day we’re up and the next day we’re down,” he said. “But tonight we were relaxed. We distributed the ball well and made the extra pass. That’s something we haven’t been doing.”
The Jan. 16 victory avenged an earlier loss on the Red Devils’ court and raised Charles City’s record to 4-8. Early on, however, it appeared the visitors could be on their way to a season series sweep.
With less than three minutes left in the first half, Lancaster owned an 18-13 lead. But Vannie Spruell’s basket off a Kevin Wallace assist reversed the hosts’ fortunes, triggering a 9-0 run.
Spruell stuck back his own miss after the Red Devils came up empty in the offensive end. Then after the visitors misfired again, Trevor Jones scored from just inside the key to put Charles City back on top 19-18.
A Panther steal led to Randall Hopkins’ three-point shot and a 22-18 advantage. The hosts held a 22-20 lead at the break.
Lancaster fell behind by six early in the third quarter, but had pulled back within one as time wound down in the period. Cody Stewart’s trey out of the corner in the waning seconds enabled the hosts to take a 35-31 lead into the final period.
At the 5-minute mark, however, Lancaster’s Joseph Betts scored off dribble penetration into the lane to knot the score at 37-37. The Red Devils rebounded a Charles City miss and got two shots at regaining the lead, but to no avail. Antonio Tabb stuck back a Wallace miss at the other end to put the hosts ahead for good.
In the final minute, Lancaster’s Quentin Henderson buried treys on successive trips down the floor. The second closed the gap to 47-45 with 19 seconds to go, but Wallace converted both shots in a bonus free throw situation with 12.1 seconds left to create the final margin.
“Vannie and Antonio did a real good job on the boards,” Carter said. “Vannie likes to play on the perimeter, but we need him on the inside.
“I told the guys everyone was going to play tonight regardless of what happened and they would all have to step it up,” the coach added.
Aaronde Williams’ 14 points topped Charles City. Jones tossed in 10 while Cetha Boone totaled seven, Hopkins chipped in five, Wallace and Spruell each contributed four, Stewart ended with three, and Tabb finished with two.