IWA wins thriller in OT

Published 4:22 pm Friday, March 5, 2010

ETTRICK – Daniel Brown may not have won his state championship in football, but he now has a chance to win one on the hardcourt. Brown scored 19 points, hit the game-winning bucket and blocked the final shot in overtime to lead Isle of Wight Academy to a 53-52 win over Williamsburg Christian in the semifinals of the VISAA Division III state tournament Friday.

The Chargers will now face Tidewater Academy in the state championship game Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Virginia State University. It is the first time IWA has reached the state championship in the history of the school.

It was a battle of Metro Conference rivals. Isle of Wight defeated Williamsburg Christian by two points during the Metro Conference tournament a week ago. The Eagles beat IWA two times during the regular season.

The fourth quarter was sloppy and low scoring. With 2:24 to play in regulation, Williamsburg’s Dominique Brown hit a short jumper to tie the game at 45-45.

On the other end, IWA held the ball for well over a minute, but Brandon Privette’s shot was blocked by Jake Duncan with 50 seconds to play. Williamsburg called a time out with 17.6 seconds to play to set up a play. Dominique Brown missed a shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.

In the overtime, Williamsburg’s Deron Powers hit a quick 3-pointer to put the Eagles up by three. With 59 seconds to play, IWA took the lead on a bank shot by Brown and went up 51-50. At the 45-second mark, Duncan drove for a bucket and gave the Eagles the lead at 52-51.

With 20 seconds to play in the overtime, Brown missed a jumper, but grabbed his own rebound and pumped in a banker to put the Chargers up 53-51.

On the other end, Willismburg’s Duncan was fouled by Brandon Black with 8.1 seconds to play. Duncan made one of two free throws, but WC maintained possession. Brown blocked the final Williamsburg shot with one second to play to seal the victory.

“Daniel made All-State last year, and those were two All-State caliber plays at the end of the game, and we needed it,” said IWA head coach Benjamin Vaughan. “We tried to get the ball into the low post and we did. Daniel got the rebound off his own miss and just was tough enough to keep after it. He didn’t give up after that first miss and made that crucial play.”

Both teams played sloppy in the first quarter and Isle of Wight looked nervous. But the Chargers trailed just 13-7 at the end of the first period. Williamsburg Christian failed to convert on easy inside shots and layups and let IWA in the game.

“We were half a step slow, I thought. We weren’t that sharp the entire first half, but we kept it close,” Vaughan said.

The Chargers played better in the second quarter and finally got into the flow of the game. After falling begin by eight, IWA went on a 12-2 run to close the gap to 23-21 with 3:34 to play in the half. Four different players scored points in the drive, including a 3-pointer by Brown. IWA took the lead temporarily on a 3-pointer by Brandon Privette with 1:58 to play in the half. The Raiders led 29-28 at the break.

Isle of Wight got into its game and opened the second half with a 10-point run. Brown scored four of the points on drives. But, the Chargers got sloppy again, and WC countered with a 5-point run to cut the IWA lead to 38-36 with 1:16 to play in the third. Williamsburg’s Will Mausteller knocked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put the Eagles down by just two points.

“We took the lead in the third quarter, but we let the tempo get away from us. It was anybody’s game after that,” Vaughan said. “Williamsburg Christian was a well-disciplined, tough team to play.”

Black finished the game with 18 points. Powers led the WC attack with 15 points.

Isle of Wight and Tidewater met in December at William & Mary Hall with the Warriors coming out on top by eight points.

“They are a well-disciplined team and they deserve the number one ranking. We look forward to playing them in the championship game. We know we have a tough road ahead of us tomorrow,” Vaughan said.