BENOIT - Poise and effort in the closing minutes of Thursday night’s game helped the O’Bannon Greenwave secure a tough 49-47 road win against the Ray Brook Tigers.
Trailing most of the evening, O’Bannon tied the game at 41 at the 1:45 mark of the final quarter. Senior guard Octavian Wilson stole a pass, raced up court and scored a beautiful over the shoulder layup while avoiding a Tigers defender who had slipped to the floor. A couple of possessions later, O’Bannon sophomore guard Donovan Lewis picked the pocket of Ray Brooks guard Triminski Jackson, took a few dribbles and found teammate Curtis Austin slashing to the basket for an easy layup. O’Bannon took its first lead since early in the game at 45-43 with less than a minute to play.
Ray Brooks tied the game on a Travion Gibson layup. From that point the Greenwaves out hustled the Tigers for loose balls and Greenwaves big man Daishun Scott crashed the offensive board getting to the free throw line twice to give O’Bannon a two-possession lead with 12.6 seconds remaining in the game to secure the victory. “At half time, I told the team that Ray Brooks won the hustle battle in the first half,” said O’Bannon head coach Torrione Carter. “We won the hustle battle in the second half and down the stretch. That was the difference in the game.”
Ray Brooks opened a 32-23 lead midway through the third quarter behind the play of Jackson and Travon Gibson. The Tigers had the momentum and crowd support when Jackson crossed over a couple of Greenwaves defenders and made a layup to give the home team its biggest lead of the night. An Austin blocked shot on what looked to be an easy Tigers layup ignited the visitors at the beginning of the final quarter as several players began to dive for loose balls and want the ball just a little bit more.
“We knew that this would be a tough game because Ray Brooks is a well-coached team and this is a very tough environment,” Carter said. “This was a big win for us and a total team effort because we go about eight deep every night. We’ve just as many games this year as we’ve won the last three years combined.”