Demetric Wright nailed a buzzer beating three-pointer, and Southern Wayne stunned Spring Creek, 60-57, during the fifth-place game of the sixth annual Southern Bank-Mount Olive Pickle Winter Classic on Friday evening.
The Saints held leads of seven, eight, even nine points on a few occasions throughout the game, but could never pull away from the Gators, who showed great toughness and never quit.
“We jumped on them early, but then we relaxed,” Southern Wayne head coach Dwight Smith said. “We can’t do that against good teams, but they didn’t quit and they kept playing through adversity and did a great job of doing what we asked them to do.”
With two minutes remaining in the game, Tyrese Artis scored to give Spring Creek a 52-51 lead. The Saints’ Jamari Leach hit a jumper to put Southern Wayne up 53-52, but the Gators’ Demartae Bizzell answered with a three-pointer seconds later.
Jalen Thompson knocked down two free throws to tie the game 55-55. Wright and Leach each drained one free throw to put Southern Wayne up 57-55 with 15.7 seconds to go.
Artis followed with two free throws of his own to tie the game, 57-57, with 8.2 seconds left in the game.
Southern Wayne inbounded the ball, and Wright, with no hesitation, pulled up and hit the game winning three-pointer.
“We drew it up for him to drive,” Smith said. “He had enough toughness to pull up and shoot the three, I’m glad it went in. He’s our guy, he makes us roll, he’s really our guy.”
Wright finished the game with a game-high 28 points. Leach scored 16 points, while Thompson contributed eight points.
Artis led the Gators with 22 points. Bizzell recorded 14 points and Dominique Morse scored 11 points.
“It was a heck of a win,” said Smith.