Williams sinks Walbrook, 49-47

Buzzer-beater advances Mervo, keeps Warriors' run of bad luck intact

Class 4A boys basketball

High Schools

March 06, 2003|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Antwan Williams scored only one basket for Mervo in yesterday's Class 4A North regional semifinal with visiting Walbrook, but it was the most important one of the game.

Standing in the backcourt with 5.2 seconds to play and the score tied at 47, the 5-foot-8 senior took an inbounds pass from Joe Marshall, dribbled to the top of Mervo's lane and banked in an off-balance jumper to beat the buzzer.

Williams disappeared amid the crowd of teammates who mobbed him after the 49-47 victory that earned the No. 7 Mustangs (19-5) a berth in tomorrow's regional final against Lake Clifton, a 50-39 winner over Woodlawn. The game is set for 5 p.m. at Lake Clifton.

"I was getting ready to stop and [shoot], but my momentum was too much," Williams said. "I just threw it up there and it went in."

The loss ended a five-game winning streak for 11th-ranked Walbrook (16-8), which suffered all of its losses in the final two minutes despite having held halftime leads in all but one game.

The Warriors lost five games in the final 41 seconds, three on buzzer-beating shots.

Mervo's Paul Frazier had 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds, 6-4 Antwon Lawrence had 13 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots and Marshall scored nine of his 13 points on three-pointers.

Walbrook was led by Jimmy Conyers with 16 points.

"I wanted them to just go away, but they kept coming back. They're a good, well-coached team," said Paul Frazier, whose buzzer-beating fadeaway jumper capped a 12-3 run that brought the Mustangs to within 28-27 at halftime after twice trailing by 10 points.

Mervo required similar heroics in its 54-51 victory over Walbrook on Jan. 23, when Chester Frazier's three-pointer with 20 seconds left secured the victory. Williams missed most of that game after injuring his ankle early in the first quarter.

"I came down on my ankle wrong and it swelled up. I was out for a month and this is only my second game back," Williams said. "It was a close game last game, but I had no idea it would be this close again. I can't explain how great this feels."

Down 40-37, the Mustangs used an 8-0 run - capped by Frazier's double-handed dunk off a steal - to go up 45-43 with 2:36 to play. After tying the score at 47 on a layup by Nicholas Woodard, Walbrook blew three possessions - the last on a traveling call with 5.2 seconds remaining.

"We tried hard, we practiced hard, we tried as hard as we could," said Conyers, tears streaming from his eyes. He is one of several juniors on a squad that has no seniors. "It's a learning experience, but we have teamwork. We'll remember this, and we'll be back and get them next year."

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