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Red Devils edge Chargers in double OT

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Lancaster’s Jihad Howard (right) attempts to save a loose ball from going out-of-bounds during the tournament final as Middlesex’s Michael Eades (left) defends. (Photo by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi)

Tourney MVP Joseph Betts of Lancaster sank the game-winner with 12 seconds on the clock to seal a 64-61 double-overtime win over Middlesex in the Middlesex High School Annual Holiday Tournament Dec. 26-27 in Saluda.

The Red Devils came from behind to pick up their eighth straight win and remain undefeated, while a gritty Charger team fell to 1-8.

To reach the championship game, Middlesex routed Windsor 69-36 and Lancaster downed Mathews 61-49 in the semifinals on Dec. 26.

In the title game, Middlesex led LHS through three and a half quarters when CJ Sheppard had a steal and break-away basket to tie the game at 36-36. Sheppard gave the Devils their first lead, 38-37, with 5:48 left and, after six more lead changes, Lancaster held a 48-47 advantage on two free throws by Betts and 56 seconds to go.

MHS forward Cody Hunter hit the second of two free throws for Middlesex with 4.5 seconds to play to knot the score at 48-48 and send the game into overtime.

MHS forward Michael Eades hit the front end of two free throws to cap a 9-point overtime period for Middlesex (1-8) and tie the game again at 57-57 with 14.6 seconds to play, and the Chargers held off a final shot by Lancaster to force the second OT.

Middlesex turned the ball over four times in the second overtime and Betts hit the go-ahead shot with 12 seconds remaining to give Lancaster a 63-61 lead. The Chargers turned the ball over on the inbounds, and a MHS foul sent Betts at the other end to give the sophomore guard two shots. Betts missed the first and sank the second with 11.8 seconds to play. Middlesex missed a long 3-point shot at the buzzer.

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Middlesex’s Michael Bess (right) drives for the goal around defender CJ Sheppard of Lancaster. Bess had a game-high 29 points in the title game, including five 3-pointers. (Photo by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi)

MHS guard Michael Bess led all scorers against Lancaster with 29 points, including five 3-pointers, and Malcolm Ward chipped in 17. Michael Eades added 8 points, Nigel Rich had 4 and Cody Hunter 3.
Betts and Javon Gibson scored 14 points each for Lancaster while CJ Lee led the Devils with 17 points.

In the semifinal win over Windsor, Ward led the Chargers with 18 points, Bess scored 16, Rich had 10, Eades 8, Hunter 7, Davonnne Bryant 5, Markus Hammond and Ryan Dixon 2 and Jake Fletcher 1.

Betts led Lancaster in its semifinal win over Mathews with 20 points and Tevin Moore added 10. Shiheid Williamson was the only double-digit scorer for the Blue Devils with 15 points.

Mathews went on to beat Windsor 68-54 in the consolation game behind 20 points from C.J. Kelly. The Dukes were led by Kwamane Harris with 20 points and Tony Walton with 14.

Betts was joined on the All-Tournament boys team by teammates Javon Gibson and CJ Lee, Bess and Ward of Middlesex, and Williamson of Mathews.

On Tuesday night at MHS, defending Tidewater District champion Colonial Beach (2-0, 7-2) outscored Middlesex 18-9 in the third quarter and went on to a 51-43 win.

Eades led MHS with 14 points, Bess had 10, Hammond 8, Hunter 7 and Bryant 4. Ward did not play.

The Chargers were at Rappahannock on Wednesday, Jan. 7. They play district games at King William (1-0, 4-6) on Friday, Jan. 9, and at King and Queen on Tuesday, Jan. 13. JV games begin at 6 p.m. and varsity games begin at 7:30 p.m.

posted 01.08.2009

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