Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The Ashley Ridge boys emerged from a frantic final three minutes of play at Fort Dorchester Friday with a 49-48 victory.
Both sides made big plays during the closing minutes of the game. Ashley Ridge had fought for a 47-41 lead, but Fort Dorchester’s Thad Middleton set the tone for the rest of the game with a powerful dunk to cut the lead to 4. Eric Heyward then made a steal that the Patriots converted into a Diamonte Gilliard basket to pull within 2.
In the final minute the Swamp Foxes turned the ball over on a travel and a steal by Gilliard but forced a Patriot turnover underneath the Fort basket. Swamp Fox senior Vernon Moree took the ball up court and scored on a break with 19 seconds remaining for another four-point Swamp Fox lead.
However, Eric Heyward hit a three-pointer to pull the Patriots within 1 and the Patriots managed to get the ball back. A Fort shot missed its mark and Moree was there to grab the rebound and end the threat.
“Games between these teams are always intense,” Ashley Ridge coach Brian Welch said. “It’s a good rivalry and the gym is always packed for it. Both sides always play hard and it usually comes down to a little madness at the end. I was very proud of our guys. We didn’t do a good job taking care of the basketball there at the end but made a couple of plays down the stretch that sealed it for us. I love this group. They are undersized but they play tough and they play together.”
Baptiste Staggers had three blocks in the first period to help the Fort pull out to a 13-12 lead. The Patriots then took a 25-23 advantage into the half.
Ashley Ridge’s Romelo Doctor opened the third period with a three-pointer and closed the period out with a buzzer-beater from just in front of the half-court line for a 43-37 Swamp Fox lead entering the final period.
Doctor made a total of five shots from behind the arc and finished with a team-high 17 points. The Swamp Foxes also had 3s from D.J. Stevens and Fred Weeks.
Heyward hit a pair of 3s for the Fort and finished with a game-high 20 points.
Ashley Ridge improved to 11-4 on the season with a 2-0 mark in Region 8-AAAA with the win. Fort Dorchester fell to 9-6, 1-1.
Ashley Ridge hosts Summerville Friday while Fort Dorchester hosts Bluffton.
Ashley Ridge 49, Fort Dorchester 48
Ashley Ridge (49): R. Doctor - 17 D. Stevens - 15 F. Weeks - 9 V. Moree - 6 M. Goodwine - 2
Fort Dorchester (48): E. Heyward - 20 D. Carter - 8 T. Middleton - 6 D. Moorer - 4 B. Staggers - 4 W. Munoz - 4 D. Gilliard - 2
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