Kerr-Vance erases 17-point deficit, but falls 60-59 to Faith Christian
Kerr-Vance erased a 17-point deficit in the second half Tuesday against Faith Christian before falling by a point in overtime.
Down 60-59, KVA had the ball on its end of the sideline with 0.5 seconds remaining in the extra session. But the Spartans were whistled for an illegal screen on the inbounds pass, putting Faith on the foul line. The Patriots missed the free throw before the final buzzer sounded.
KVA dropped to 2-3 in the Eastern Plains Independent Conference and 8-5 overall with the 60-59 loss.
“You expend so much energy and you see it a lot,” said KVA head coach Dave Carrier. “Teams come back, get the lead and kind of falter at the end. We had opportunities. But it’s a disappointing loss. I don’t think we played our best tonight. Probably a lot of that was due to Faith Christian’s defense.”
Faith, 10-8 overall, improved to 1-4 in league play behind 29 points and 16 rebounds from Zach Bryant.
The Patriots aimed to limit the Spartans’ top scorers, R.J. Hunt and Derrian Markham. Hunt finished with 21 points and Markham had 13 although the going was tough in the lane for each player.
“We knew their two players were outsanding, Hunt and Markham,” said Faith head coach Rob Brothers. “We’ve been practicing triangle and two all week to get ready for this game. I thought we did an oustanding job keeping them off the basket and limiting them and getting one of the other guys to shoot.”
Bryant was dominant inside for Faith. The 6-foot-4 junior had 15 points in the second half including overtime and shot 9-of-11 from the foul line on the game.
“He doesn’t try to do things he can’t do,” Carrier said of the Patriots’ big man. “He finishes. He does a great job of sealing and getting position. He ate us up.”
Brothers said his team’s offensive gameplan was to go through Bryant “as much as he could stand.”
KVA knocked down a dozen 3-pointers on the night, shooting 31.5 percent. Eighth-grader Wil Short had four of those and finished with 12 points. Each came in the first half. KVA fell behind 23-11 after one quarter and trailed by 17 in the second period before ending the first half on a 15-4 run.
“I have to credit Faith Christian,” said Carrier. “They came out and executed. They were going to try to make somebody other than R.J. beat us and they did a really good job of that.”
Faith went up again by 10 in the third quarter, but Markham tied the game at 46 with a 3 before the end of the frame and Hunt gave the Spartans the lead in the fourth on a pull-up triple.
KVA led by 51-46 with around four minutes to play in regulation and the visitors ultimately knotted it up with 36 seconds left.
Next up for the Spartans is Grace Christian of Raleigh, at KVA on Friday.
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.