Cumberland Times-News

March 22, 2014

Garrett loses in OT, 97-96

Injuries to 3 Lakers starters aid South Suburban’s comeback

From Staff Reports
Cumberland Times-News

— DANVILLE, Ill. — Antonio Levy and Johnny Stevens combined to account for just under two-thirds of its team’s offense, and Garrett College hung in there despite losing three starters to injury before having its season end with a 97-96 overtime loss to South Suburban in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament at Danville (Ill.) Area Community College.

The Lakers (20-11) had a 42-34 lead at halftime, but lost Frank Holloway, Corey Groom and D.J. Ritchie to injury early in the second half and the Bulldogs took advantage of it to slowly climb back into contention.

With six seconds left in overtime, DeAndre Davis hit a pair of free throws that got the Lakers to within one. Garrett fouled on the inbounds and got a little luck when both attempts were missed. Yannick Zanfack found Van Jones in the corner for a game-winning three-point attempt, but the shot rimmed out.

Levy and Stevens combined for 60 points and 13 threes in the win over the Lakers. Levy scored 36 points on 12 field goals, seven 3-pointers and a 5 of 6 day at the line. Stevens used six threes to help him score 24 points.

Zanfack led the Lakers with 21 points and Holloway had 19 before exiting with the injury. Davis had a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds, Jones scored 12 points and Ritchie had 10 before leaving.

Chris Scarlett, a Bishop Walsh graduate, had 13 points coming off the bench and was one of the Lakers’ biggest reasons for staying on the same level after losing three players.

“Losing three starters, our three top scorers really, was a killer, but I thought we handled it beautifully,” said Garrett coach Dennis Gibson. “Scarlett and (Shannon) McCready coming off the bench and playing like they did is what really allowed us to maintain control until the final 1:30 or so.

“I’m really proud of the way everyone stepped up and played in the situation we were in, but when those guys went out we were a little smaller and had a tougher time getting to their guards.”

The Lakers entered the tournament as the 16th seed and began the tournament with an 80-65 loss to No. 1 Cincinnati State. They then beat John Wood 93-92 before losing to the Bulldogs on Friday.

“This is a beautifully run tournament and I want to thank our school for taking care of us so well out here,” added Gibson. “I think we not only represented the school positively, but also the county and the state.”

South Suburban, from Chicago, will play St. Louis today in the consolation championship.

St. Louis    72

Potomac State    70

DANVILLE, Ill. — Cortez Conners slipped a three-pointer past Potomac State with four seconds remaining to rally the Archers past the Catamounts for a two-point win in the consolation semifinals of the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Danville, Ill.

The Cats led by as many as 12 points during the second half on the back Derylton Hill’s 32 points and 12 rebounds, but St. Louis was able to trim the lead to four points, 70-66, with 28 seconds left. Conners was fouled on a three-point shot and converted all three free throws to trim the PSC lead to one. After the Cats missed the front end of a one-and-one, St. Louis called a timeout and set up a play that found Conners with an open look for the game-winner.

Conners finished with 14 points and the big final minute, but Randy Reed was the reason the Archers flourished in the second half by scoring a team-high 25 points. Jaylen Fulton added 11.

Hill’s rebounding and scoring led the Catamounts in both categories and Reggie Baker added 22 points and seven boards.

Marcus Banks finished with nine points and five rebounds, and Marcus James had 10 rebounds to go with four points.

“I’m extremely proud of these guys right now,” Potomac State coach Justin Anderson said on the ride home. “This is Potomac State’s first team to make it to the National Tournament since 1977 and its a testament to all of our hard work.”

Potomac State, which finishes with a 21-10 record, began the tournament with a 93-88 loss to Wake Tech in overtime. The Cats beat Carl Sandburg 83-70 the next day before ending the season with the loss to the Archers.

St. Louis will play South Suburban today at noon in the consolation finals.