Anderson comes through in clutch for Pleasantville
OCEAN CITY — The Pleasantville boys basketball team needed a little Davine intervention to overcome the obstacles it faced against Pemberton at the Ocean City PBA Tipoff Weekend showcase event at Ocean City High School on Saturday afternoon.
The Greyhounds struggled through some foul trouble and stretches of poor shooting, played without head coach Butch Warner for much of the second half, and overcame a late deficit to beat the Hornets, 66-64, on a pair of Davine Anderson free throws with 6.5 seconds left.
With the score tied at 64, Anderson drove the lane and was fouled. He calmly sank both free throws, and on the other end Malik Morgan rebounded an errant layup to seal the victory.
"A few possessions before that, I missed some free throws. So I had to make up for that and make some clutch free throws at the end. That's one of the best feelings you could ask for," Anderson said. "We just had to keep fighting. We knew that with all of the conditioning that we've been through that we would have enough stamina, and that they were probably getting tired. We just needed one stop and we got the stop we needed. It was hard when our coach got kicked out, but we pulled through."
Coach Warner was ejected from the game late in the third quarter after receiving consecutive technical fouls. But assistant coach Bruce Jones did a great job managing the matchups down the stretch, as Pleasantville closed a 5-point deficit in the final three minutes, tying the game at 64 with less than a minute to go.
"We just tried to stay focused, stay poised and stay dedicated. We just had to stay focused on winning this game," said Malik Morgan, one of just two seniors on the roster along with John Robinson.
Pemberton jumped out early behind some balanced scoring, taking a 16-11 lead into the second quarter. But Pleasantville responded, outscoring the Hornets 23-20 in the second quarter to close the gap to 36-34 by halftime. The Greyhounds took a 52-49 lead early in the third quarter, but Pemberton rallied and regained the lead, 53-52, on a nice play underneath by Zion Powe, who finished with 12 points.
Pemberton held at least a three-point lead until there was 1:10 left, as Shaun Vaughn scored on a runner to cut the Greyhounds' deficit to 64-62. That set up Anderson's heroics with less than 10 seconds left.
"We might be young, but we're mature enough. Coach Warner is a pressure coach. When the other team puts the ball in, we want to get up on them," said Morgan, who finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds and two steals. "We just had to make sure everybody was on the same page and concentrating on winning this game."
Anderson finished with a game-high 23 points and added seven rebounds, while Vaughn added nine points, four rebounds and three steals. Pleasantville struggled with its free throws, but made up for that by outscoring the Hornets 32-22 in the paint.
Contact Dave O'Sullivan: firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @GDsullysays