Stags rally to down Timberland 79-78 in OT thriller

  • Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dan Brown/Independent Payton Thompson spins to drive for two against the Gators.

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So far this season, Berkeley Stags Coach Joseph Wallace has used adjectives like “inspired” and “commitment” to describe his team’s play in the early going of the 2013-14 season.

His Stags played inspired basketball in the overtime win over Stratford, yet needed to play with more commitment to defense in the 70-49 loss to Goose Creek on Dec. 10.

Wallace hasn’t found the words yet to describe the final four minutes of the Stags 79-78 overtime win over Timberland.

“Simply amazing,” might be good for starters.

D’Andre Richardson’s baseline jumper with just four seconds left in the overtime period put Berkeley on top 79-78 and lift the Stags to its third win of the season.

“This was a game of runs, which most good basketball games are,” Wallace said. “We were up by seven at halftime and came out sluggish to begin the third quarter and I quickly called a timeout to try to refocus my guys after Timberland cut the lead to three.”

During that sluggish second half stretch, the Wolves went on top by as many as 10 points, but the Stags, like their coach, kept their cool and did not get discouraged.

“The guys showed a lot of fight and determination,” Wallace said. “They never gave up. We cut the lead to two points and the game kept going back and fourth.”

With just under two minutes remaining in the game, Matthew Harkness drove the lane and sank a key layup to tie the game. Then Timberland drained a three to go back on top.

With less than a minute left in the overtime period, Molik Meggett hit a tree-pointer to bring the Stags within two, 76-74 and after the teams traded buckets, set up Richardson’s game-winning shot.

“Hopefully this experience will benefit us as we continue the season,” Wallace said.

D’Andre Richardson led the scoring for the Stags with 23 points including the game winner to life Berkeley to 3-2 on the young season. The game featured four Stags to tally in double figures on the night.

Dee Harley added 15 points, and Kashawn Matthews and Alex Taylor each popped in 10 points to pace the Berkeley offense. In addition to Taylor’s 10 points, the big swingman hauled in 7 rebounds and blocked two shots on the defensive end.The Stags face a pair of rematches this week, traveling to Cane Bay and Stratford before calling it quits for the break. Berkeley will play Military Magnet in the opening round of the Lake Marion Christmas Tournament over the holidays before regular season play resumes Jan. 2, 2014 against Goose Creek at home.

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