Patriots earn overtime victory at Woodland
Friday’s game between the Patriots and the Wolverines was all about strong finishes.
After trailing for much of the game in St. George, Fort Dorchester earned a 78-72 overtime victory over Woodland.
“We were down in the final 30 seconds of regulation so being able to come back says a lot about this team,” Patriot coach Leon Wheaton said. “We did a good job of staying in attack mode. We are so small that we can’t really pass over people but we are quick enough to penetrate. This is a win we can build on because Woodland has great size and they are one of the best AA teams in the state.”
Both teams went largely with an inside attack. Woodland (3-2) got a lot of second-chance baskets and at times it looked like the Wolverines would run away with the game, but the Fort (3-1) found ways to hang around.
“Eric Heyward played the whole game and we pressed the whole game,” Wheaton said. “He showed the heart of a lion. Baptiste Staggers had a great game and was big on the boards. We brought up Devon Bennett from the JV team and he played some big minutes for us tonight. It was just a great team effort.”
The first period was tight until the final two minutes. Woodland then took a 10-point lead off a three-pointer by LaRon Carn, a pair of free throws by Sergio Smith, and a put back by Michael Wamer.
That lead held for several minutes until the Fort had a surge. The Patriots got baskets from Bennett and Ronald Johnson to pull within 5 and then Staggers made a shot and a free throw. After Staggers blocked a shot at the other end of the court, the Fort entered the half trailing 31-29.
The Patriots matched the Wolverines’ production early in the third period but then Woodland had a surge, getting big plays from Herb Johnston and Carn in the last 2:30 of the period to take a 50-41 lead.
The Wolverines held a seven-point lead with only 1:15 remaining in the fourth period but the Patriots managed a late rally. The Fort forced a turnover that led to a basket from Heyward, who was also fouled on the play. He hit the free throw to take the score to 69-68 with only eight seconds on the clock.
Woodland then mishandled the inbound pass to give the Fort a final chance. Bennett put up a 3, but it bounced off the rim. Fortunately for the Patriots, Staggers was there for the rebound and was fouled taking a shot. He made one free throw, but missed the other to send the game into overtime.
In the overtime period Staggers hit five free throws and Heyward hit four while Woodland only managed three points, all on free throws. A pair of turnovers forced by Staggers and Demariez Moorer were also key in the overtime period.
Both teams had four players enter double-digit scoring. Staggers led the way, posting 32 points. Heyward added 13 while both Singletary and Bennett added 11.
Johnson and Carn both posted 15 points for the Wolverines. Smith finished with 14 and Juadon Chandler had 12.
FORT DORCHESTER 78,
WOODLAND 72 (OT)
Fort Dorchester (78): Staggers 32, Heyward 13, Singletary 11, Bennett 11, Moorer 7, R. Johnson 4
Woodland (72): Herb Johnson 15, Sergio Smith 14, LaRon Carn 15, Juadon Chandler 12, Hanton 8, Wamer 6, E. Carn 2
Fort Dorchester 11 18 12 28 9—78
Woodland 21 10 19 19 3—45
Records: Fort Dorchester 3-1, Woodland 3-2.