CONCORD — Winning a boys basketball game in Concord’s Rimer Gym is one of the tougher feats in NCHSAA sports, and A.L. Brown failed to finish off the Spiders on Friday in an epic SPC stuggle.
“We haven’t lost at home since Lake Norman beat us the season they won 4A,” said Concord coach Scott Brewer, who is something of a human record book.
For the record, that last Concord home loss came on Dec. 2, 2009, so the Spiders have gone three years, two months and two weeks, without a setback at Rimer.
The Spiders lived on the edge, but when Derrick Copeland’s desperate, last-second 3-pointer from in front of the Wonders’ bench missed, Concord survived 68-66.
In the aftermath of that miss and no-call, Tevin Stark, who led the Wonders with 23 points, went after a referee. Disciplinary action could be forthcoming.
“That was a tough call and could’ve gone either way,” A.L. Brown coach Shelywn Klutz said. “Kids got emotional and lost composure. You can’t lose composure.”
Concord (21-1, 14-0) rallied to win 57-56 in Kannapolis on Jan. 22, so it ran the table in the SPC and is perfect since it lost in a Christmas tournament to Rock Hill (S.C) Northwestern.
Connor Burchfield scored 25 points for the Spiders, with 13 of them coming in the third quarter .
Jerry Burk also battered the Wonders. He muscled for 17 points and kept Concord close in the first half after the high-flying Wonders (17-6, 12-2) came out on fire.
“It’s a little scary when they’re shooting the ball like they were early,” Brewer said. “You just have to hope they can’t keep it up.”
Brown was missing a shooter. Braxton Waddell, the team’s No. 4 scorer, watched from a wheelchair. He was hurt on Wednesday.
“Waddell’s a good shooter, but with or without him, they’re a very tough matchup,” Brewer said.
With the 6-foot-4 Stark and 6-6 Tydus Parks burying perimeter jumpers, the Wonders went up 20-15 after a quarter.
The Wonders led 33-30 at the halftime break. They should’ve led by more, but they went 6-for-14 at the foul line.
Burchfield got hot in the third quarter, but Copeland also threatened to heat up. Concord’s defensive stopper Logan Sedergren did a nice job to keep the explosive Copeland from getting on a roll.
Concord grabbed a six-point lead with a 24-point third quarter and led 58-50 when a Copeland 3 re-energized the Wonders.
Copeland’s fourth 3-pointer with 2:20 left put the Wonders ahead 61-60. Parks then rejected a driving shot by Burchfield, and Copeland converted a one-and-one for a 63-60 lead for the visitors.
Parks hit two free throws for a two-point Brown edge with 44 seconds left, but Parks fouled Burchfield on a 3-point try with 27 seconds left, and the Spiders’ star buried all three for a 67-66 lead.
Stark drove hard and earned a whistle with 5.8 seconds left, but he missed both free throws. Darren Black rebounded the miss for Concord, and he made one free throw with 3.1 seconds left. After a timeout, the Wonders rushed up the floor for Copeland’s last try.
“Concord is a good team, and if you’re going to beat those good teams, you’ve got to do a better job on free throws,” Klutz said. “Free throws were the story of the game. It should never have to come down to those last few seconds.”
Klutz’s words were on target, even if Wonder free throws weren’t. Concord was a solid 21-for-27 at the foul line, while the Wonders were a dismal 11-for-27.
Brown may get a third shot at Concord in the SPC tournament, but they would return to Rimer Gym. The tourney host is Concord.
A.L. BROWN (66) — Stark 23, Copeland 16, Parks 11, Neal 7, Carr 6, Johnson 3, Parker, Shepherd.
CONCORD (68) — Burchfield 25, Burk 17, D. Black 12, Aube 9, Childress 3, K. Black 2, Sedrergren, Pruette .
A.L. Brown 20 13 15 18 — 66
Concord 15 15 24 14 — 68
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