Another Cavalier comeback gets CFVC win
Southern Lee’s boys’ basketball squad made it back-to-back comeback conference victories, rallying from a seven-point deficit early in the second half, then holding through a frantic last 0:15 for a 49-46 win over visiting Douglas Byrd Friday night.
The last Cavalier win came after they faced a 16-point hole at halftime at Union Pines a week ago.
In some ways, while the margin the Cavs (5-8, 3-1) faced was smaller against the Eagles (5-10, 2-2), with a low-scoring game and both sides playing incredibly physical from start to finish, this Southern Lee rally seemed equally difficult.
Southern Lee survived a number of dry spells, including a 9-4 start to the game by the visitors. Sparked by Juwon Jackson’s play in the lane, as he scored seven points in the opening quarter, the Cavs gained a 13-11 edge headed to the second quarter.
Douglas Byrd knocked down shots on its first four possessions of the second quarter to take a 19-15 lead.
Five straight points by Christian Locust, coming on a three-pointer, quickly followed by a turnover leading to a lay-in for Locust, got the Cavs within a 23-22 Eagle lead late in the half. The Eagles answered with center Montez Samuels getting the last two buckets before halftime for a 27-22 Eagle edge.
After the Eagles got the first hoop of the second half, the Cavaliers put full-court, trapping defense on the Eagles and it turned the game around.
Coming at the end of a full-court scramble which turned into a Cavalier fast break, Noah Mellette drained a three-pointer to tie the game, 29-29. Locust got a steal and breakaway bucket to make it 31-31.
Another Cavalier break, ending with Locust dishing to Mellette for a lay-up, wound up as the last hoop of the period giving Southern Lee a 39-35 lead.
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The Cavs held the lead from there but it was far from easy. The Cavaliers held a 2-1 edge for the first 4:28 of the fourth quarter. The Eagles got a bucket to cut it to a one-possession game, 41-38, and the Eagles had a few possessions to cut the lead or tie the game.
Reserve guard Charles Wicker, who hadn’t scored yet and had played only a few minutes through the first three-plus quarters, came through with exactly what the Cavs needed - just a couple of baskets.
Wicker drove into the paint and flipped a left-handed shot over a couple Eagle players for a 43-38 Cavalier lead with 2:05 and counting.
The Eagles rushed the length of the floor, had a shot, and all of the Eagles at Cavalier Court thought a sure foul. Instead, Jalen Jackson’s blocked shot started a break to the other end and Wicker scored with a lay-up.
The four quick points didn’t seal it for the Cavs. Roy’el Wright hit a three-pointer to bring Douglas Byrd within four with 1:12 left.
Justin McKinnon’s tap-in basket made it 49-44 Cavs but seconds later Andrew Murray scored in the paint to make it 49-46 with 0:15 left.
After a timeout, the Cavs had the ball and Douglas Byrd had three fouls to give before forcing the Cavs to the free throw line. The Eagles got the first two fouls with one second running off the clock. The third foul was whistled an intentional foul.
The Cavs wasted the opportunity to seal the game. Locust missed two at the line, then the Cavs threw away the inbounds pass.
Off the steal, the Eagles missed a shot and the loose ball went out of bounds to Douglas Byrd. Wright missed a corner three-pointer and the rebound went out to the Eagles with 0:04 left. Wright got another shot, from the right wing, it was off the mark as the Eagles wanted a whistle on Wright’s shot and the Cavs were happy to survive until the horn.
Juwon Jackson led the Cavaliers with 15 points and eight rebounds. Locust had 11 points. Mellette had nine points along with six steals. Jalen Jackson dished out seven assists.
Murray and Samuels led Douglas Byrd with 10 points and nine boards apiece. Wright added eight points.
The Cavaliers will be back in action this evening for round two of their rivalry with Lee County. The Yellow Jackets won on their home floor 54-51 in December. Southern Lee hosts the doubleheader this evening starting with the girls game at 5 p.m.