River Bluff boys’ basketball wasted a 10-point halftime cushion and found themselves tied at 60 with visiting Dutch Fork with 14 seconds remaining Friday night.
All the Gators had to do was get the ball into Terrill Windom’s hands. The senior guard took a pass near half-court, drove around a defender and was fouled on his drive to the basket with 3.2 seconds remaining. He calmly stepped to the free throw line and made both free throws for a 62-60 victory over the Silver Foxes in a key Region 5-5A contest.
“The defender came over a little late and I knew he wasn’t in the position to take the charge, so I knew I had to come up and get the foul. I got to the free throw line and knocked them down,” Windom said.
River Bluff coach Ben Lee said there were several options on the final play and he was quick to give the credit to Windom and his teammates for making something happen.
“We work on end of game situations and I have a lot of guys that can put the ball on the floor and go,” Lee said. “The idea is to keep it spread, attack a gap, find a teammate, take advantage of an opportunity when you see them. I can’t take any credit for that. The kids make those plays.”
JT Reeves led the way with 25 points, 17 in the second half with Windom contributing 15 points. It was an important win for River Bluff. The Gators, ranked 6th in the latest SCBCA statewide poll, improves to 15-2 overall and 1-0 in the region.
It looked like it would be the Gators in a rout at the half. They used an early 10-0 run and another 9-3 spurt going into the locker room to hold a 32-22 at the break.
Dutch Fork (10-5, 1-1) wouldn’t go away quietly though. The Silver Foxes, who had won seven in a row coming in, opened the half on a 13-6 run in which four players scored to pull within 38-35. Reeves was the main reason the Gators kept the lead though.
Reeves hit three straight 3-pointers and added another basket to score the first 11 points of the third quarter for River Bluff. He did pick up his fourth foul and had to sit until later in the fourth quarte.
“JT is a rock for us,” Lee said. “He’s always calm and even tempered and he makes shots. He did pick up his fourth and the other guys had to step up and they did.”
Windom and Andre Robinson were the main two. Windom scored eight points in the final quarter, including the game-winning free throws.
Robinson’s steal and pass to Windom for a layup with 28 seconds remaining made it 60-57. AJ Knight tied it for Dutch Fork at 60 with a step-back 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining to set the stage for the final moments.
Reeves and Windom combined to go 10-of-12 from the free throw line in the final quarter.
“We have to win every game we can,” Lee said. “This region is going to be brutal, anybody can beat anybody, so you have to make sure you’re ready to play every day. If you don’t, somebody’s going to hang an L on you.”
In the girl’s game, Dutch Fork led 28-1 at the half on the way to a 57-17 win. Katrice Jackson scored 16 points and Kennedy Williams added 14 for the Silver Foxes (8-5, 2-0).
River Bluff 62, Dutch Fork 60
DF – AJ Knight 14, Jarvis McClurkin 10, Brown 9, Raymond 9, Johnson 6, Gilliard 5, Danley 4, Green 3. RB – JT Reeves 25, Terrill Windom 15, Andrew Robinson 12, M. Reeves 5, Cusaac 3, Trottier 2.
Dutch Fork 57, River Bluff 17
DF – Katrice Jackson 16, Kennedy Williams 14, Butler 7, Smith 6, Brennan 4, Barnwell 4, Jackson 2, Davenport 2, Robertson 2. RB – Rozier 6, Dumm 4, Heldreth 3, Fallen 2, Smith 1, Berndt 1.