MINT HILL, NC – The Queen’s Grant Stallions won a huge conference game over Piedmont Community Charter on Friday night on their homecourt in overtime. This game is one of the top three basketball games this writer has covered during this entire season to date.
The game had everything, excitement, drama, emotion, heartbreak, joy, and a high scoring fast paced affair between two well coached basketball teams on Senior Night to boot.
The teams battled head-to-head from the opening tipoff to the final buzzer in overtime when Stallions senior Kareem Weaver stole an inbounds pass with 4.1 seconds remaining, spun around under the basket and put up a layup as the clock ran out cementing a 99-95 victory in front of the large home crowd who erupted rushing the court in celebration.
In the opening period the teams battled and the Stallions took a 24-22 lead. Keion Adams led the scoring with 10 points and some good work under the basket and inside the paint. Meanwhile, Weaver contributed two baskets, and Carter Lee drilled his first 3-pointer for the evening. Eli Grier, the pesky PG swished a 3-point shot of his own. While Jaxson Neely added a bucket.
In the second period the battled raged, the pace and tempo of the game picked up as the teams jockeyed for an advantage by intermission. Neely stepped up during the action scoring 6 points and making his presence known under the backboard. Weaver added 4 points, Adams 2, Grier 2, and Darian Nhek nailed a 3-pointer from the baseline. Weaver scored on a power move to the hoop to give the Stallions a 41-39 edge just ahead of the buzzer.
In the second half during the third period the Stallions extended their lead over the visitors from Gastonia. Enter Carter who now had the hot hand, he scored 12 points including a 3-pointer from the right side baseline. Adams contributed 9 more points, Weaver 5, Neely 4 to lead the scoring for the Stallions. At the end of three periods Queen’s Grant had a more comfortable 73-67 lead. However, things would change rapidly in the final period during regulation.
The visiting Patriots outscored the Stallions 20-14 in the final period. The teams ran up and down the court at a fast pace exchanging baskets. However, a critical 3-point shot by Kennedy Williams and a few extra free throws made the difference between the teams giving the Patriots a much needed boost to tie the basketball game. In fact with 1:04 remaining the visitors had an 87-82 lead. Neely made a layup after grabbing a rebound, a Stallions steal led to a Weaver field goal making the score 87-86 with 23.7 seconds left. With 13.3 seconds on the scoreboard clock, Lyric Brown is fouled, but misses the front end of a 1-1 for Piedmont. Now with 5.3 seconds remaining Grier is fouled swishes the front end of a 1-1 to tie, but missed the second free throw bouncing off the rim. The game ends in regulation tied 87-87.
In the 4:00 minute overtime Carter Lee drills a 3-pointer with 1:39 remaining taking a 94-91 Stallion lead. But Piedmont bounces back at 43 seconds with a field goal grabbing a 95-94 edge. Then Adams scores a field goal 96-95 Stallions. Piedmont fails to score, Neely grabs the rebound and is quickly fouled. He makes 1 of 2 free throws, now with 4.1 seconds remaining the Stallions have a two point lead 97-95. On the inbound pass, the ball is tipped, Weaver grabs the loose ball under the basket and promptly banks it off the backboard threw the net to secure the victory 99-95. Pandemonium erupts as the home crowd rushes the court and the celebration begins.