GREEN COVE SPRINGS - The Clay High boys basketball team spotted The First Academy Royals a five-minute second-quarter break as the Blue Devils went on a scoring drought which allowed the Royals to …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS - The Clay High boys basketball team spotted The First Academy Royals a five-minute second-quarter break as the Blue Devils went on a scoring drought which allowed the Royals to build a seemingly insurmountable 11-point lead into the third period.
“Honestly at that point, I was probably the calmest I was all night,” said Clay Head Coach Jared Moses, who pulled out a thrilling 40-37 fourth-quarter comeback win. “I told them at the time out, we still have time, we are still in this. They were getting opportunities. Missing the point-blank ones, I just couldn’t help them. I told them to just stay the course, it will go down. You just have to believe.”
With 2:24 to play in the game, the Blue Devils pulled it within two points with Alexander Brown going to the line for two free throws.
“All I remember was my Mom just told me to turn it on," said Brown. "That’s all they told me was to turn it on. That’s all they told me.”
Sinking both and tying the game 37-37, it was a heavy defensive stand and some favor from Lady Luck as the Royals had no less than five foul shots to try and gain points and missed on all the attempts in the last two minutes. Clay’s Xavier Longmire was fouled twice hitting three of four attempts from the line to get Clay a 40-37 lead which held on for the final 5.7 seconds for the dramatic Friday night win.
“Hey- the pressure is just on me," said Longmire. "I got the pressure of my team, my family, it was all on me. Coach told me just bend your knees and I just threw it up.”
With a final throw-in by the Royals with the score at 40-37, Clay was called for a foul as the Royals threw up from outside the three-point line. All three foul-shot attempts bounced out to keep the win.