Brookland-Cayce escaped with a 42-39 overtime decision Monday against Blythewood in the third-place final in the boys division at the Midas Highlander Classic. The Bearcats were the defending tournament champions.
It was the second overtime game in a row for B-C, which fell to host Heathwood Hall 66-62 in extra time in the semifinal round on Sunday.
The Bearcats fell behind 37-36 when Blythewood’s Chris Brown drained a 12-foot jumper from the right side with 1:01 remaining in regulation, and had a chance to regain the advantage when Mario Grant went to the free-throw line with 46 second to go. Grant missed the first attempt, but evened the count by converting the second.
That would be the last point scored until overtime. Blythewood held the ball for a last shot, but never got what it wanted. Point guard Tevin Lowry, who led the Bengals with 20 points, lost the ball as he charged down the lane. Blythewood retained possession with 0.8 seconds left, but Brown’s desperation heave off the inbounds pass was well off the mark.
In OT, Grant put the Bearcats back in the lead for good with two free throws, and sophomore Jonathan Rumph’s feed set up a low-post score by 6-foot-8 junior Jake Benton before the first extra minute had expired.
Lowry scored off a steal with 1:30 left, and almost had the equalizer on another steal. But Rumph flew in to block Lowry’s layup in the key defensive play of the game.
B-C, as it did late in regulation, left the Bengals in the running by failing to cash in at the free-throw line. The Bearcats went 1-for-6 from the charity stripe in the final minute. Blythewood, however, did not make B-C pay - missing three shots from beyond the arc in the final 10 seconds, one of which was blocked by Rumph.
Rumph, who made the all-tournament team, finished with a team-high 20 points, and had double-digit backing from junior Vinco Odom (14 points) and Benton (10). Brown had 12 points in support of Lowry.
Rumph had 17 points, Benton and Lorenzo Mitchell scored 15 apiece and Odom added 11 in the disappointing loss to Heathwood Hall in the semifinals. B-C rolled Hammond 65-45 in the first round as Rumph and Mitchell both tallied 11 points.
Blythewood had a tough offensive outing vs. Irmo in the semifinals, losing 54-25 to the eventual tournament champion Yellow Jackets on Sunday. Lowry scored 10 points to pace the Bengals to a 46-38 win over Wilson Hall in the first round.
Brookland-Cayce (6-4) returns to play on Jan. 7 at Spring Valley, and opens the Region 5-3A campaign on Jan. 9 at Swansea.
Blythewood (2-7) travels to face Lower Richland on Friday.