For the first time since Dec. 13, 2018, the Wayne Country Day Chargers and the Eastern Wayne Warriors faced off on the basketball court.
The Warriors won that matchup 78-75 at Wayne Country Day, so the Chargers were looking to even the score against Eastern Wayne on their home court.
In a back-and-forth game, the Chargers defeated the Warriors 73-71 on Thursday night in a game that was decided in the final seconds.
The Chargers opened up Thursday night’s game by making the first two baskets of the game to take a 4-0 lead.
The second basket came from Jai Williams, who slammed down an emphatic dunk but was called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim, which gave Eastern Wayne two technical free throws and the ball.
The technical foul proved costly as Zavian Oates knocked down one of the two technical free throws, and Charlie Thomas hit three two-pointers in a row to give Eastern Wayne a 7-4 lead.
After giving up seven unanswered points, the Chargers found their rhythm and took an 8-7 lead off a layup by Kayleb Coles and one free throw each from Williams and Nayshin Waller.
Both teams continued to trade leads throughout the quarter, but when the first quarter ended, Eastern Wayne held a small 17-15 lead.
At the start of the second quarter, Eastern Wayne extended its lead to 22-17, but Wayne Country Day battled back to take a 24-22 lead by going on a 7-0 run.
In a game that featured two evenly matched teams, no lead was safe, and with Wayne Country Day still holding a two-point lead at 27-25, Eastern Wayne went on a 7-2 run to take a 32-29 halftime lead.
After trailing by three points at halftime, Wayne Country Day came out of the locker room with a new intensity, and the Chargers went on a 22-13 run to take their biggest lead of the third quarter at 51-45.
However, Eastern Wayne showed great determination, and the Warriors came back to tie the game early in the fourth quarter at 54-54.
More from this section
Late in the fourth quarter, with about two minutes left in the game Eastern Wayne had possession of the ball and was down 66-65.
The Eastern Wayne offense, which had come up big all game, once again had a chance to take the lead, but one of the Eastern Wayne forwards got stripped of the ball while heading toward the basket.
After the steal, Cogdell took the ball down the court and made a perfect pass to Williams, who went way up in the air and grabbed the ball before slamming it down for an alley-oop.
With the Chargers still up by three points, Cogdell came up big for the Chargers once again when he threw down a dunk to put the Chargers up 70-65 with around a minute left in the game.
Cogdell’s heroics were not enough to put the game away, and with 16 seconds in the game, Wayne Country Day was holding onto a 72-69 lead.
The Warriors had one final possession to tie the game, and Wayne Country Day came up to halfcourt to defend the ball on the final possession, and the Chargers’ pressure forced an Eastern Wayne guard to make an errant pass that went out of bounds with just six seconds left in the game.
With five seconds left, the Warriors had to foul the Chargers and send them to the free-throw line, where they made one of two free throws to take a 73-69 lead.
The Warriors scored on their final possession at the buzzer, but it was too little too late, and the Chargers came out on top 73-71.
Even with the win, Wayne Country Day head coach Jeff Davis was not impressed with how the Chargers performed.
“They wanted to win worse than we did,” Davis said. “They played phenomenal, and they played hard. Some nights you just aren’t going to play well, you just have to escape, and we escaped tonight.”
With the win, Wayne Country Day improved to 17-3 overall, while Eastern Wayne fell to 5-7.