Prep Basketball: West Rowan boys 69, Weddington 66, OT
By Jordan Honeycutt
WEDDINGTON — Superman has Lex Luthor. Batman has the Joker.
Monday night in Weddington, Keshun Sherrill had Bennett Rutherford.
A tightly contested, hard-fought 69-66 overtime victory for West Rowan needed a superhero-type effort to overcome another.
“Really what it was tonight, was just our Superman was just a little bit better than theirs,” West Rowan coach Mike Gurley exclaimed. “Our seniors stood up tall when they were supposed to and when we needed them most.”
Sherrill poured in 19 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and the Falcons needed every one of them to offset Rutherford “going all Kevin Durant” and dropping 34 on the Falcons.
Both players had their own chances to have an even more Herculean night.
Sherrill possessed the ball for West with about 20 seconds left and the game tied at 62.
He dribbled out the clock down to about three seconds, dancing with Weddington’s Julian Barber the entire time.
Sherrill made a dribble move and hoisted a pullup triple that clanged off the back iron and forced the extra session.
“I felt that I rushed it a bit and I didn’t get my best lift or arch on it,” Sherrill said. “Going into overtime, I just knew that I wasn’t ready to lose.”
The Falcons showed their mettle early in the OT as Sherrill drained a trey from the same spot he had missed the game-winner from seconds earlier.
Rutherford came right back and drilled a pull-up 3 to tie with one minute to go.
Sherrill would put West back on top for good on a dribble-drive that he split the defense on for a layup.
Weddington had the ball last in the overtime and had its chance to send the game into a second extra session.
The Warriors dribbled out the clock and found Barber in the corner for a 3-point attempt that was promptly swatted into the stands by the long arm of Jarvis Morgan, leaving 1.7 on the clock.
The Warriors threw the inbounds pass to Rutherford who dribbled by a screen and hoisted his own turnaround fallaway prayer –– that was not answered.
The shot clanked off the left side of the rim, ending the Warriors’ season and sending the Falcons into the second round.
“I really wanted to give my all tonight, if in fact this was going to be my last game,” Rutherford said. “This is the second straight OT game that we lost and I think if we would have defended better and rebounded better, it might have been different, but credit West, they are a very good team.”
West Rowan’s Alexis Archie and Travis Morgan added 11 points apiece to aid Sherrill.
After Rutherford’s miss, Gurley breathed a sigh of relief, knowing his Falcons had dodged a bullet.
“We survived a heck of a shooting night by a heck of a ballplayer in Rutherford,” Gurley said. “It reminds me a lot of Central Cabarrus’s Nathan Cranford years ago. But we just feel good and were fortunate to win this one tonight.”
WEST ROWAN (69) — Sherrill 27, Archie 11, T.Morgan 11, J.Morgan 8, Warren 8, Tucker 4, Hassard, Long, Martin, Reddick.
WEDDINGTON (66) — Rutherford 34, Peters 10, Jul. Barber 9, McDonald 6, Watts 4, Jor. Barber 3, Oates.
W.R. 11 18 14 19 07 — 69
Wedd. 16 10 16 20 04 — 66
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