02/23/11 — Chargers need OT to oust Lions

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Chargers need OT to oust Lions

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 23, 2011 1:47 PM

In the final home game of his career, senior Josh Gregory nearly played the role of hero at the end of regulation.

He wasn't about to waste another opportunity in overtime.

Gregory scored six of Wayne Country Day's nine points in overtime in a 54-49 victory over Trinity Christian of Durham in the first round of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A boys' basketball playoffs on Tuesday night.

Tyson Pearson's layup gave the Chargers a 47-45 lead early in the extra session. Gregory scored Wayne Country Day's next six points, including a late layup that stretched the margin to 53-49. The heralded senior who eclipsed the 1,000-point mark earlier this season, finished with 17 points.

"Josh made some big baskets for us," said Wayne Country Day head coach Terry Jones. "It was a struggle for us to get into a groove. Coming down the stretch we told him he had to make a play for us or shoot it. Thankfully, he made some plays coming down the stretch."

Honsen French led the Lions with a game-high 31 points, including 17 in the second half. French fouled out with 48 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. Todd Eckstein's hanging jump shot in the lane tied the game at 45-45 with 30 seconds left.

"It was huge when French fouled out," said Jones. "He was making plays for himself as well as his team. We had a number of key guys in foul trouble so we weren't able to do some of the things defensively that we liked to do."

Gregory's 3-point attempt from the corner as time expired in regulation clanged off the rim.

Brandon McCarter sank two free throws to give the Chargers a 26-13 lead with five minutes to play in the second quarter. Trinity (15-9 overall) responded with a 20-8 run and French's layup cut the deficit to 34-33 late in the third quarter.

"Trinity is one of those scary teams that you really don't want to see," said Jones. "You know they're very disciplined and you know no matter how the game is going, they're always going to give 100 percent. They made a run and responded.

"We weren't able to put the ball in the hole and they clawed their way back into the game."

Pearson contributed 17 points and nine rebounds. McCarter had 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Wayne Country Day (18-9) faces Greenfield for the fourth time this season on Thursday at Carolina Day School in Asheville. The Knights have won all three meetings, including last Saturday night's Coastal Plains Independent 1-A Conference tournament finals.

"The bottom line is Greenfield is a huge challenge for us," said Jones. "There's no reason for us to be hesitant or afraid. We've already gone to their place and put together a heck of a ballgame. Our season is going to end at some point this week and I wouldn't want it to end any other way than going through Greenfield or losing to Greenfield."