Despite buzzer beater to force overtime, New Kent emerges with 80-75 win
After being throttled the night before, New Kent’s Trojans looked to bounce back after an unfathomable performance against Poquoson. They got that sour taste out their mouth Tuesday night.
Despite questionable officiating and a buzzer beater to force overtime, the Trojans persevered with an 80-75 victory over the York Falcons to cap off a successful Senior Night.
York opened the contest early behind Jesse Kimrey’s three-pointer. From there, each team exchanged scores in back-and-forth action, with the visitors emerging with a 14-12 lead to end the first quarter.
After the Falcons’ advantage opened to eight (29-21), New Kent began to find more success against the Falcons 3-2 defense. A free throw line jumper by Mitch Morse plus free throw line conversion cut the deficit to five. Teammate Ryan Curle’s contested jumper sliced the deficit to three (29-26). By the time the half ended, the hosts found themselves trailing by a mere point (31-30).
But the visitors emerged from the break with eight straight points. That lead built to 11 (48-37) before New Kent responded with a run of their own that spanned two quarters. Morse’s three-pointer followed by teammates Ben Housden’s trifecta to beat the buzzer at the end of the third quarter highlighted a 10-1 run that ran into the fourth quarter and brought the Trojans within two points (49-47).
New Kent gained their first lead of the night after Jared McCaughan’s free throw broke a tie at 60 apiece. Each team alternated free throws for most of the quarter before late game excitement kicked in.
With New Kent holding a 65-64 advantage and possession of the ball, Curle was whistled for a traveling violation with 27 seconds left. York capitalized off the turnover as York’s Yomarius Ele drove to the basket to return the lead to the visitors.
On the next series down, Trojans Robb Kinder grabbed a rebound and was fouled on a putback attempt. Kinder sank both free throws to return the lead to the hosts (67-66).
With nine seconds remaining, York broke New Kent’s pressure, resulting in Falcons’ center Gerald Bonds being wide open. However, Bonds slipped while heading to the basketball, resulting in a traveling violation.
Curle’s free throws provided the hosts a three-point lead (69-66) with just six seconds remaining. But the Falcons’ Jayden Flood-Brown pushed the ball down the court and was fouled by Housden on a three-point attempt. But after missing the first two, his intentional missed bounced all the way back to the three-point line untouched. Falcons’ guard Josh Marteniez threw up a deep three-pointer that rolled around the rim and dropped in. Officials converged, marking the basket good and sending it to overtime.
But the miracle moment didn’t last long for the visitors, as New Kent swung momentum by being aggressive to the hoop. York players began to be disqualified after receiving five fouls, and the hosts took advantage at the charity stripe to emerge with the victory.
After the contest, Trojans head coach Ronnie Cox discussed the dramatics of the game.
“We were down by nine at the end of the third quarter and we got some big shots,” he said. “We took advantage of them when they got tired and we pressured them.
“There were some tough calls on both sides, but we came out and executed and won a tough game against a really good basketball team that is better than their record.”
Morse was one of five players who finished in double figures for the Trojans (5-16), leading the way with 19 points. Curle finished with 18, while Housden and McCaughan both scored 12, and Kinder finished with 10. J.J. Jacobs chipped in with five, and two points were scored by Brandon Coutu and KeSean Taliaferro with two points apiece.
Ele led all scorers in the contest with 26 points.