Spring Valley forward Devante Brooks goes for a shot over West Charlotte High guard Trey Foster during the Chick-fil-A Classic Thursday at Richland Northeast High School. West Charlotte won 60-57 in overtime. - Tracy Glantz /email@example.com
By AKILAH IMANI NELSON - firstname.lastname@example.org
After playing 90 minutes over three days in the Chick-fil-A Classic last week, West Charlotte’s Mike Brown had just enough left to lift the Lions past Spring Valley in the Classic II championship game.
Brown scored the last six points of the game to give West Charlotte a 60-57 victory in overtime Thursday night at Richland Northeast.
“This means everything. This makes your team,” Lions coach Baronton Terry said. “In my experience, you get back after the New Year, you’re a different team.”
Senior guard Devante Brooks led the Vikings in overtime, hitting two free throws to put them ahead at the start of period, then adding a layup, a steal and a bounce-pass assist to PJ Dozier to keep the Vikings out front.
But with less than two minutes to play, West Charlotte took a one-point lead, and never surrendered it.
“I’m proud of them. It’s always tough to lose but, I’m proud of them. I learned a lot about them. They didn’t give up,” Spring Valley coach Perry Dozier said.
The Vikings trailed by five at halftime, but erased the deficit in the first minute of the second period. Three minutes in, Austin Beamus’ 3-of-4 free throw shooting on consecutive trips to the line nudged Spring Valley ahead for the first time, 26-25.
With senior forward Jonathan Golden working against West Charlotte’s Kennedy Meeks inside for seven points and three rebounds, the Vikings built a five-point lead. But the Lions would not stay down.
A Trey Foster three-pointer made it a one-possession game with less than three minutes in regulation, and West Charlotte moved ahead with two minutes to go.The Vikings pulled even with a three by Brooks at the 1:31 mark, and denied the Lions’ last shot attempt at the buzzer.
“This was one game where I felt good about going into overtime because we got here by winning in double overtime,” Dozier said.
Brooks posted 17 points to lead the Vikings and was named to the all-tournament team.
“This tournament was really dedicated to him,” Dozier said. “He’s been with us for four years and this is the first year we’ve been invited to the tournament and he gave it everything.”
Brown led all scorers with 20 points, and he and Lions point guard Mark Blackmon were named to the all-tournament team.