Smith delivers game-winning shot
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 15, 2008 2:46 PM
DUDLEY -- Talk about a conference tournament tune-up.
Charles B. Aycock nearly played the role of heartbreakers on Southern Wayne's senior night on Thursday, but junior Dwight Smith's jumper lifted the Saints to a 62-60 overtime victory.
The two clubs were both playing their regular-season finales with the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference tournament set to begin on Monday. The Golden Falcons were coming off a 43-point drubbing on Tuesday at Eastern Wayne.
Aycock's Khendra Reid tied the game at 60-60 with a layup with 32 seconds remaining.
Southern Wayne appeared to be in trouble on its ensuing possession before head coach Russell Stephens called a timeout with 23 seconds left. The Saints (11-13 overall, 7-3 ECC) killed some clock before Smith hit a hanging jumper in the lane with four seconds to play.
"Coach called a timeout and after that I just dribbled into the lane and hit the shot," Smith said of his only field goal of the night. "When we went into overtime I was thinking, 'just win, just win.'"
The Golden Falcons (3-21, 1-9 ECC) had one last chance, but Jordan Riley's deep 3 was just off the mark.
"Coach (Von) Newsome and I kind of drew something up and we wanted an earlier shot so Khendra could maybe get a rebound," Aycock assistant coach Patrick Reynell said. "That's what we were really looking for. But, they pressured us and forced us to dribble a little more than we wanted to."
The Saints led by as many as 14 in the third quarter before the Golden Falcons closed the quarter with 10 unanswered points and trailed 40-38 heading into the fourth.
Smith had a chance to put his team up by three with less than a minute to play in regulation, but hit just one of two free throws. That left the door open for Aycock. Jonathan Williams' layup tied the ballgame at 49-49, and after Jon Hart momentarily put the Saints in front, David Gurganus' basket with only seconds to play forced overtime.
"Those guys at Eastern Wayne kind of went off the other night and we took it personally and carried it over to this game," Reynell said. "We've worked all year so much on our full-court press and when we're going to do it. It was our pressure ... don't think they were really prepared for the different sets we threw at them."
Southern Wayne jumped out to an early 10-4 lead and held a 16-10 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Javaris McMillan's layup early in the second gave the Saints their first double-digit lead at 25-15. Getting outworked on the boards, Aycock struggled to chip away at the deficit and trailed 29-20 at the half.
Hart and Kendrick Thompson each scored 16 points for Southern Wayne, and Desmond Raiford added 12. Reid finished with a game-high 19 and Riley pitched in 17.
The Saints and Golden Falcons' seeds for the ECC tournament will be decided by a coin toss this morning. Southern Wayne finished tied for second with Wilson Hunt, while Aycock ended up tied for fifth with Wilson Beddingfield.
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