Shooting star: Drakeford drains buzzer beater for Aycock
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 29, 2009 1:49 PM
KENLY -- As the final seconds ticked away in Monday's contest against Rocky Mount Prep Terrance Drakeford had doubts about his ability to knock down a game-winning shot.
Those doubts all disappeared with one flick of the wrist as Drakeford's 3-pointer at the buzzer lifted Charles B. Aycock to a 47-44 victory in the first round of the North/South Christmas Classic at North Johnston High School.
The Jaguars trailed by as many as 15 points in the second quarter but methodically chipped away at the lead throughout the second half. Donte Samuel's putback with less than a minute to play tied the game at 44-44.
The Golden Falcons (7-1) began the game's final possession with 30 seconds to play and worked the ball around the perimeter.
"There's 30 seconds to go and we have the basketball and you're thinking the entire time the ball's coming up the floor, 'do I call a timeout?'" said Aycock head coach David West. "I was still thinking about it in the last 15 seconds but I was watching the guys and they were flowing and moving like they were supposed to. You could tell they were looking for something. They got to the ball to who it needed to go to at the last second."
Tyheim Pitt penetrated the lane in the final seconds before passing the ball into the corner to Drakeford who buried the game-winner as time expired.
"At first I was thinking I was going to miss the shot," said Drakeford. "Tyheim got the ball to me and then I felt confident I was going to make the shot and I just made it. In practice I normally miss that shot, today I made it. It felt good."
The Golden Falcons led 25-15 at the half but Rocky Mount Prep used a 10-4 run in the third quarter to pull within 29-25. Brandon Winford's dunk extended the Aycock advantage to 39-32 early in the fourth quarter.
The Jaguars scored seven of the game's next nine points and Larry Maryland's 3-pointer trimmed the margin to 43-42. Winford made one of two free throws with just over a minute to play to increase the Golden Falcons' cushion to 44-42 before Samuel's game-tying putback.
"We played with some confidence and composure," said West. "We told them at halftime when it was 25-15 that this wasn't going to stand and they were going to comeback."
Aycock effectively used a 1-3-1 zone defense and a full-court press to force Rocky Mount Prep into 26 turnovers that led to numerous points in transition.
"I have confidence in that 1-3-1," said West. "Not that it's the only defense we've got because it's not but we proved a lot of things to ourselves tonight. Turnovers are going to be big anytime but having Brandon (Winford) at the top of that 1-3-1 just gives a lot of teams a dif
ferent look. The four other guys behind Brandon are playing just as intense as they can play."
Five of the eight games the Golden Falcons have played this season have been decided by less than 10 points. Aycock has been victorious in all five of those contests.
"I think this is a product of being in so many close games and competitive games," said West. "We've had some very competitive games against some good teams. We're still a work in progress and we're still growing. After a two week layoff we came out with some confidence and that confidence will take you a long way."
Winford led the Golden Falcons with 19 points and Drakeford added 11. Samuels paced the Jaguars with 15 points.
Aycock returns to action at 6 p.m. today at North Johnston.