The Independence Patriots defeated a solid basketball team Richmond Senior from Rockingham to advance to the third round of the state championship tournament on Saturday night against Hough on Indy’s home court.
Indy is the #4 seed in the west while Hough is the #12. However, they beat Rocky River 63-61 in the opening round and upset #5 seed RJ Reynolds.
Nygie Stroman the 6’6″ forward standout of the Raiders kept Richmond in the basketball game all night long. He scored inside the paint with some power moves and was accurate from the three-point range especially down the stretch in the final period. He had a major double-double for the evening.
Meanwhile, the Patriots played aggressively throughout the ball game. In the first period, Indy outscored their opponent 15-12. Senior guard Anthony Allen led the charge drilling three jump shots for six points in the period. While Omarion Bodrick, the “Big O” added 4 points including a monster slam electrifying the Indy faithful. De’Drick Givens added a bucket, and guards Tachai Miller and Divine Allah contributed key baskets for the home team.
In the second period, Nygell Verdier started off the scoring with a 3-pointer from the corner. The Patriots were on run, they outscored the Raiders 18-9 in the period primarily on good clutch shooting to open up a 29-18 advantage with 1:07 seconds remaining. Verdier again scored off a rebound and tap into the hoop for a bucket, then Allen swished two free throws with under 20 seconds remaining to give Indy a 33-21 lead at the intermission.
In the third frame, Indy could not buy a shot until the final minute of the period. While Stroman was hot contributing 6 points and grabbing rebounds for the Raiders. The visitors took off on a 12-0 run to tie the game. Then Verdier on a fast break scored on a slam dunk to take a 35-33 Indy lead. With the clock running down, a steal by Allen and nice feed to a streaking Bodrick, the “Big O” would jam a loud slam giving Indy a 37-33 edge ending the period. However, Indy was outscored 12-4 in the third making this basketball game very competitive.
In the fourth period, initially Indy started off on fire, in particular Jalen Hinton who drilled two consecutive 3-point shots giving Indy a 43-35 edge. Allah followed with a layup, Miller scored on a 3-pointer, the “Big O” was fouled on a baseline drive and drilled both free throws. Indy now had a 50-41 lead with 2:07 remaining in regulation. After both teams went 1-2 from the foul line, the Raiders began to make their second run. Suddenly the Patriots could not by a basket for the second time in the half.
With 21 seconds remaining, Indy was up 51-48, Stroman once again banked in a 3-point shot from the cheap seats to tie the game at 51-51. Indy tried to set-up a good shot but was frustrated by the Raider’s 3-2 defense being applied. The final shot did not come close to the rim ending the game tied in regulation forcing the overtime period.
In the four-minute overtime, Indy found the range once again, the “Big O” drilled another slam, Allen swished a 3-pointer from the right corner, Verdier scored on a power drive to the basket, Miller made both free throws after being fouled, Indy now had a comfortable 60-54 advantage with 25 seconds remaining. With the clock running down after a missed Raider shot, Verdier grabbed the rebound, he was quickly fouled with 12.6 seconds on the scoreboard clock. Verdier calmly swished both free throws to ice the victory for the Patriots.
Anthony Allen scored 16 points for Indy, Hinton 11, Verdier 10 points, 13 rebounds, and Bodrick 9 points. While Nygie Stroman led all scorers with 26 points for the Raiders.