Devils outlast Horses in double overtime

  • Desmond Murray, center, of the Blue Devils tries to penetrate in the paint between Warhorses Nate Elmore, right, and Bobby Carter.

The rematch between the class A No. 2-ranked Williston-Elko High Blue Devils and the Barnwell High Warhorses turned into a barnburner Wednesday night in Barnwell.

In a game that had numerous twists and turnovers, the Blue Devils made the most of their opportunities in the extra sessions to come away with a 49-46 double overtime win.

The game went into the second overtime tied at 43-43. It was then that Demarkiis Doe willed the Blue Devils to victory with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Doe scored four points in the second overtime, including pair of free throws with 2.3 seconds left to secure the game.

With the win, Williston-Elko High improves to 14-3 overall and 8-2 in region play.

Williston-Elko High coach Jeremy Lehman said the team came thfough in a very hostile environment.

“Barnwell had its fans behind them tonight and they played us extremely tough,” Lehman said. “It was a very close game right down to the wire. Defensively, we were able to get a couple of stops late that were crucial.”

Barnwell High coach Michael Highsmith said the team played hard, but missed out on its chances.

“The players played very hard, but the bottom line is this was a game we had an opportunity to win, but didn’t,” Highsmith said.

In the first meeting, the Blue Devils defeated the Warhorses rather handily.

This time, however, the Warhorses made a game of it.

Early on the Warhorses’ transition game was operating at a high level with Pete Elmore, Jacoby Bailey, Bobby Carter all scoring layups for a 6-2 lead.

After the Blue Devils took a 12-10 lead, then Elmore answered with a floater in the paint to tie the game at 12-12 with 21 seconds left in the first quarter.

At the start of the second quarter, the Warhorses continued to ride high in the saddle. Tyrese Drayton got free in the paint and scored on a putback. Moments later, Seth Prithard rattled in a three-pointer for a 15-14 lead.

With 4:28 left in the first half, the Blue Devils took over. On a two-on-three fast break, Tyshawn Allen scored on a jumper. After a basket by Keshawn Toney, Desmond Murray sped down the court and scored on a jumper to put the Blue Devils ahead 23-16 with 1:05 left in the first half.

“Except for a few defensive breakdowns late in the half, I thought we played really well,” Highsmith said.

Down 28-21 with 5:54 left in the third quarter, the Warhorses buckled down on defense.

Coupled with the Warhorses’ stout defense was an aggressive offensive attack. The Warhorses went on a 14-4 scoring run to take a 30-29 lead with 7:27 remaining in the game.

For the Warhorses, Pete Elmore fueled the run with six points and two assists. Also coming up big offensively were Tyrese Drayton with a jumper in the paint and Randall Buxton with a three-point basket.

The game see-sawed back and forth with four lead changes in the final three minutes before the Warhorses seemingly took control after a Devin Creech basket gave them a 41-36 lead with 1:49 left to play.

The Blue Devils answered quickly down the stretch. For the team, Allen and Murray scored on layups and Toney added a free throw to tie the game and force overtime.

Tied at 43-43 in the first overtime, the Warhorses had a chance to win on a late jumper, but Doe partially blocked the shot as time expired.

In double overtime, the Warhorses reclaimed a 45-43 lead on a layup by Creech.

The Warhorses’ cheering, however, was short-lived. Behind four points from Doe and a basket by Leonard Williams, the Blue Devils responded with a 6-1 scoring run to end the game.

For the game, Pete Elmore led the Warhorses with 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Devin Creech had nine points, 11 steals and seven assists.

For the Blue Devils, Toney finished with seven points and 12 rebounds. Allen added eight points and Murray registered six points.

On Jan. 24 in other action, the Blue Devils captured a huge region win in a 60-57 triumph over Hunter-Kinard-Tyler High in double overtime.

For the game, the Blue Devils had four players to score in double digits and two of them posted a double-double.

Leading the way was Toney with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Allen followed with 14 points, seven steals and four assists. Murray had 13 points and eight assists. Doe finished with 12 points and 10 boards.