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BOYS BASKETBALL

Riverheads boys basketball team stuns Staunton

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GREENVILLE — Riverheads wiped out a seven-point deficit in the final 2:25 of the game Saturday to stun the Staunton Storm, 49-46, in Shenandoah District boys’ basketball action.

The outcome was a much-needed victory as the Gladiators were mired in a five-game losing streak.

“Every game we play seems to be like this,” said Riverheads head coach PW Weller. “We’ve been in every game we’ve played, but we finally made the plays in this one and put it all together at the end of the game.”

Staunton led 35-32 entering the fourth quarter and a 3-pointer by Durell Hamilton early in the final quarter put the Storm ahead 38-32. Noah Williams worked inside to pull Riverheads to within four, but Prodigy Simms answered with a bucket to keep the Staunton lead at six, 40-34.

Riverheads made 3-of-4 at the foul line to trim the margin to three points before buckets by Peyton Dunn and Manny Chapman gave the Storm their biggest lead of the night, 44-37, with 2:25 left to play.

Riverheads kept attacking at the offensive end and three more free throws cut the deficit to four 44-40. Staunton then turned the ball over and Riverheads’ guard Bennett Dunlap knocked down a crucial 3-pointer to make it a one-point game, 44-43, with 1:15 left.

Staunton tried to work some clock, but another turnover gave Riverheads possession. Ryan Farris was fouled with 33.3 seconds left and made the first of two foul shots to tie the game. Farris missed the second free throw, but Staunton was unable to control the rebound and the ball went out of bounds with Riverheads retaining possession.

“We thought about holding for the last shot, but Staunton is so quick, I wasn’t sure we could hold it for 30 seconds,” said Weller. “We were looking for a layup or the last shot.”

Farris took the ball into the lane and made a contested layup while being fouled to put Riverheads in the lead. Farris added the foul shot for a 47-44 lead with 16.6 seconds left.

Staunton opted to go for a quick two and Chapman got into the lane and made a short jumper to once again make it a one-point game with 7.8 seconds left on the clock. “There was enough time left that we thought they would go for a quick two,” said Weller. “I wish we would have defended it a little better to make them take more time off the clock.”

Riverheads was able to get the ball inbounds and the Strom fouled Levi Byer with 5.2 seconds remaining. The Gladiators’ senior made both foul shots for a 49-46 advantage.

Staunton then put the ball in Chapman’s hands for the last shot. “I’m not one of those guys who is going to foul in that situation,” explained Weller. “We’re going to defend and try to make it a tough shot.”

Chapman got off a contested three from the left wing, but his shot at the buzzer went halfway down and rattled out as Riverheads escaped with the 49-46 victory.

“Despite losing some close games, the guys have never hung their heads. They play so hard every game,” Weller said. “I keep telling them that if they just keep playing that hard every night, good things will eventually happen. Eventually, the breaks will go your way. We got a break tonight at the end as that last shot looked good, but it went in and out.”

Farris led three Riverheads players in double figures with 15 points. Byer and Dunlap both finished with 11 points. Staunton’s Chapman led all players with 19 points. The Gladiators made the most of their visits to the foul line, making 14-of-22 free throws while the Storm made just 4-of-7 foul shots.

RIVERHEADS 49, STAUNTON 46

STAUNTON 13 11 11 11 — 46

RIVERHEADS 10 12 10 17 — 49

STAUNTON (46) — Cabell 1 0-1 2, Chapman 7 2-2 19, Simms 3 0-0 6, Moore 2 0-0 4, Desper 1 2-2 4, Jones 1 0-0 2, Hamilton 3 0-0 7, Dunn 1 0-2 2, Brown, Scott, Terry, Jackson, TOTALS 19 4-7 46.

RIVERHEADS (49) — Farris 5 4-7 15, Byer 3 5-7 11, Dunlap 4 0-0 11, Mooneyham 0 1-2 1, Morris 1 2-2 5, Lightner 1 0-1 2, Williams 1 2-3 4, Milo, Slack, TOTALS 15 14-22 49.

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