DUBLIN — West Bladen scratched, clawed and battled for 40 minutes, including two overtimes, but came up short when visiting South Robeson drained a three-pointer with three seconds left to claim a 94-91 Three Rivers Conference win on Thursday.
It was the second double-overtime game with the Mustangs this season and drops the Knights to 4-13 overall, 1-10 in the conference.
“We battled all night; the kids really competed,” West Bladen coach Travis Pait said.
The Knights sandwiched baskets by Kerron Washington and Tyre Boykin around a South Rob bucket before the Mustangs went on a 9-0 run to open an 11-4 edge. But West Bladen answered with a 9-0 burst of its own on successive three-pointers by Jimmy Williams, Boykin and Gerardo Reyes that gave the Knights a 13-11 lead.
South Robeson went on a 6-0 spurt to regain the lead, but Washington and Williams each canned two free throws to knot the game at 17-17. After a basket by the Mustangs, Washington and Williams each hit a bucket for a 21-19 Knights lead as the first quarter wound down. South Robeson tied the game with less than 30 seconds left, but West Bladen got a basket from Washington that gave the Knights a 23-21 edge going into the second quarter.
The two teams traded baskets to open the stanza, with Keshawn Lewis and Trenton Lyons each draining a three-pointer for West Bladen that gave the Knights a 33-29 lead late in the half.
But South Robeson finished the second quarter on an 8-3 run and took a 37-36 edge into halftime. Lewis canned a basket and free throw during that stretch for West Bladen.
After the Mustangs extended the lead to 39-36 to start the second half, the Knights got baskets from Jonathan Robinson and Boykin to take a 40-39 lead. South Rob hit two quick buckets to retake the lead, but Lyons and Lewis each drained a three-pointer to open a 46-43 advantage.
The Knights put together a 7-4 run over the next few minutes behind a three-pointer from Lyons and two baskets by Williams for a 53-47, but South Rob closed the period with a 10-3 run to carry a 57-56 edge into the fourth frame. Robinson finished the quarter with a basket and free throw for West Bladen.
Lewis opened the quarter with a three-pointer and Shyron Adams hit a bucket to give the Knights a 61-57 lead before South Robeson went on a 7-0 run to regain the lead. West Bladen responded with a 5-0 burst behind an old-fashioned three-point play by Trashawn Ballard and a basket by Williams, but the Mustangs went on an 8-0 spurt to take a 72-66 lead. Boykin hit a basket and Robinson added a free throw to pull West to within 72-69.
After a free throw by South Rob, Adams canned a three-pointer for the Knights and, after another free throw by the Mustangs, Boykin hit a basket that knotted the game at 74-74. After a South Robeson miss, the Knights had a couple of opportunities to close out the game in regulation, but missed a couple of put-backs.
“We had chances there at the end,” Pait said. “They just didn’t go.”
The two teams went into overtime and went back and forth with baskets. A bucket by Robinson followed a Mustangs basket; a basket by Boykin followed a South Rob three-pointer; a three-pointer by Adams followed a Mustangs basket; another three-pointer by Adams followed a South Rob free throw — all before the Mustangs worked hard to get the ball inside as the clocked down, getting a layup to knot the game at 84-84.
The second overtime was much like the first, with each team trading baskets. South Robeson opened the period with a basket, but Reyes hit a free throw and, after two Mustang free throws, Lewis drained a three-pointer for West. The visitors got a basket and free throw to open a 91-88 lead as time was winding down, but Adams canned his fourth three-pointer of the night to tie the game up for the Knights.
South Robeson moved the ball around quickly and finally got an open look behind the arc — and hit the shot with three ticks left on the clock.
West Bladen came out of a timeout and got off a quick shot that went awry.
“We’ve played two and a half games against (South Robeson) this season,” Pait said. “Two losses by a total of three points. That’s tough. But they have a good team.”
Lewis led West Bladen with 17 points and added 10 rebounds, while Williams also had a double-double with 13 points, 10 boards and a blocked shot. Adams scored 14 points with his four three-pointers; Boykin had 13 points; Robinson scored 12 points; and Lyons scored nine points with his trio of three-pointers.
West Bladen will play at Whiteville on Friday at 8 p.m. in a conference game.