LAKE WACCAMAW — West Bladen’s hopes for getting into the Three Rivers Conference tournament fell one point short Saturday, falling to East Columbus in the boys bracket play-in game on a last-second shot, 68-67.
The loss ends the Knights’ season at 7-18.
West Bladen opened the game with a 6-3 spurt, but the gators put together a 17-5 run to finish the first quarter with a 20-11 lead.
That momentum didn’t last. The Knights got a three-pointer from Gerardo Reyes and Jimmy Williams as the visitors opened the quarter with an 18-9 burst and knotted the game at 29-29. Kerron Washington drained a three-pointer for West Bladen an helped give the Knights a 34-31 edge at halftime.
West Bladen opened the second half with a 6-2 run, but East Columbus answered with a 12-0 explosion that gave the Gators a 45-40 lead. The Knights whittled away at the deficit, but still trailed going into the fourth frame, 53-51.
West Bladen opened the quarter with a 12-7 run to take a 63-60 lead midway through the final frame, but the Gators knotted things and, with less than 15 seconds left to play, East Columbus took a 67-66 lead. Tyre Boykin went to the free throw line moments later and buried both shots— but the Gators put up a Hail Mary pass down the court that was answered, and the resulting layup as time ran out gave East Columbus the one-point win.
Shyron Adams led West Bladen with 13 points; Williams scored 10 points with three steals; Reyes had 10 points; Drew Harris and Jonathan Robinson each grabbed six rebounds.