ROWLAND — It wasn’t pretty, but the first win of the season for the South Robeson boys basketball team was enough to satisfy head coach Ryan Bullard.
“We had a lot of heart,” Bullard said. “We missed a lot of free throws, missed a lot of layups, that’s what I remember. There was some easy buckets we should of had, but our guys found a way to win. To be a champion, those are the types of games you have to win.”
The Mustangs (2-3, 1-3 TRC) needed two overtimes to put away West Bladen (1-5, 0-3 TRC) 90-89 on Tuesday night. Zack Carter posted a team-high 16 points for the hosts.
“I felt like we did a good job,” Carter said. “We should have got more boards and stuff like that. It was a team effort tonight.”
Cameron Werrell added 11 points and 16 rebounds for South Robeson. Jarias Davis also logged a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Mustangs, who had five players hit double figures in scoring. Jaleel Lesane contributed 15 points.
“We told our guys we needed to control the boards,” Bullard said. “We started bringing our two bigs in more late in the game, and I thought we controlled the boards a little better with those two big guys.”
Jonathon Robinson led the visitors with 23 points and 14 rebounds.
Shyron Adams hit two free throws to give the Knights a 78-76 lead with 16.5 seconds left in regulation. Davis drove into the paint on the ensuing possession before finding Eric Lewis under the hoop for a last-second layup.
With the score tied at 85-85 with 33 seconds left in the first overtime period, the Mustangs failed to convert on a couple of opportunities in the paint as time expired.
South Robeson took an 89-87 lead on a second-chance layup by Carter with just over a minute left in the second overtime. After the Knights failed to respond, Ahmad Lewis missed a pair of free throws for the Mustangs.
With 40 seconds left on the clock, Lewis returned to the charity stripe after being fouled on a put back attempt. He connected on the second of two attempts to give the hosts a 90-88 lead.
West Bladen’s Scott Bowen was fouled with 16.8 seconds left as he drove to the hoop. Bowen made the first attempt, but a lane violation nullified the second shot.
The Mustangs turned the ball over with the game’s final seconds ticking away, but the Knights could not convert on a desperation attempt.
“We had to lock up on defense,” Carter said. “We pulled it out. Like I said, it was a team effort.”
“We’re proud of them,” Bullard said. “I told them to enjoy it tonight. We have to look forward to Red Springs (on Friday)”.
Lewis logs triple-double in Lady Mustangs’ win
Nytia Lewis was too much for West Bladen to handle on Tuesday night.
Lewis registered a triple-double with 18 points, 16 blocks and 12 rebounds as the South Robeson girls basketball team topped the Knights (1-5, 0-4 TRC) 50-37.
“She’s my bread and butter,” South Robeson head coach Lula Ratley said. “When she can get it going, she’s hard to stop. Her effort was there tonight. We’re trying to build around her.
“She did a beautiful job tonight. She kept us in the game, and kept us where we needed to be at the time we needed to be there.
The Lady Mustangs (1-4, 1-3 TRC) were able to withstand several late pushes by the Knights, using Lewis’ athleticism to force the Knights into difficult shots.
“They never gave up,” Ratley said of her team’s effort. “They continued to bounce back. I saw a lot of effort.”
It was the first win of the season for the Lady Mustangs, who were coming off a loss at Whiteville on Friday night.
Reach Brandon Tester at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Tester_Brandon