in State Quarters
Photos: Sussex Central center James Cannon goes airborne on a hard drive to the basket. The 6-5 senior scored his 1,000th career point during the game.
Rampage by Dickinson
Video Clips | Congratulate the Knights
Photos: Sussex Central forward Andrew Weatherly (top) and center James Cannon (below) score on dunks.
GEORGETOWN -- The Sussex Central High School boys' basketball team just about patented the come-from-behind win during the 2000-2001 season.
But in the second round of the Delaware state tournament, the Golden Knights nearly wound up on the wrong end of a late-game comeback on Saturday, March 3, 2001.
Sussex Central, behind senior center James Cannon's 31 points and 15 rebounds and on a night when he scored his 1,000th career point, survived a fourth-quarter rampage by Dickinson for an exasperating 71-69 victory at Sussex Tech.
The Knights, seeded fourth in the tournament, head into the tourney quarterfinals against William Penn with a 21-3 record. William Penn, the fifth seed, is 14-6 after beating St. Elizabeth in another second round game.
The game will be played Tuesday, March 6, at 7 p.m. at Polytech.
Against Dickinson, the Golden Knights shrugged off a pesky Ram squad for more than three quarters to build a 58-40 lead on a pair of Cannon free throws with 5:48 left in the game.
But instead of cruising into the quarterfinals, the Knights held their collective breaths as the Rams stormed back to within 70-69 on a tip-in by Andre Oupah with just 5 seconds left.
A free throw by sophomore Knight forward Andrew Weatherly with 1.2 seconds gave the Knights their win, but like so many teammates before him, Weatherly, who finished with 15 points, left the final decision up for grabs by sinking only one of two free throws.
Missed free throws, in fact, helped the Rams get back into the game.
After closing to within 58-45 with 4:23 to play, Dickinson coach Jim Realer called timeout and told his Rams to start fouling the Knights every time they touched the ball.
The ploy nearly worked, as Sussex Central missed 9 free throws in the fourth quarter and finished the game just 14-for-27 from the line.
Down the stretch, only junior forward Orlando Farrow was able to hit two free throws in a row. After the game, Sussex Central head coach Tim Slade said he felt Farrow, who contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds, was the only player on his team who even wanted the ball down the stretch.
After Realer's timeout with 4:23 to go, the Rams began to quickly slice the Knight lead down to size.
A jumper by guard Robert Moran brought Dickinson to within 60-53 with 2:29 to go, and after an exchange of baskets, the Rams moved closer, at 62-58, on a three-pointer by Terence Nelson with just 1:33 left.
Cannon took a full-court bomb from Weatherly on the ensuing inbounds pass for a layup and 64-58 lead, but Dickinson came right back on a three-point play by guard David Bratten on a layup and foul shot to make it 64-61 with 1:15 remaining.
The Rams got even closer, at 65-63, when forward Oupha hit a pair of free throws with 55.2 seconds left.
Back ends of free throw opportunities by Weatherly and sophomore Central guard Frank Roach boosted the lead back up to 67-63 with 42.0 seconds to go, but a steal and layup by Nelson cut the lead back to 67-65 with 33.5 seconds left.
Farrow then sank his two free throws for a 69-65 Knight advantage at the 29.6 second mark, but the Rams cut it back to 69-67 on a follow shot by Oupha with 21.2 seconds remaining.
Roach then hit one of two free throws for a 70-67 lead with 16.6 seconds left, but Oupah's tip-in of a missed three-pointer brought the Rams to within 70-69 with just 5.0 seconds left.
After a timeout, Weatherly hit one of two foul shots for a 71-69 edge with 1.2 seconds left, and the Knights finally breathed easier when a desperation, three-quarters court heave by guard Alex Brown hit the backboard to the left of the box.
For Dickinson, which concluded its season at 15-8, put four players in double figures led by Willie Williams' 14 points.
Darryl Bates, Oupah and Bratten scored 13, 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Knights took control of the game late in the second quarter as they went ahead 30-20 with a minute left in the second period on an 11-0 run.
During that run, Weatherly hit a three-pointer and a layup to give Central a 24-20 lead, follows by Farrow and Mann made it 28-20, and a layup by Farrow off a nifty pass by Roach gave the Knights that 30-20 advantage.
They eventually settled for a 30-24 halftime lead, but in the third period, they started to widen their lead behind guards Leroy Mann and Roach, who repeatedly broke Dickinson's press and penetrated the lane for nice assists to Cannon, Farrow and Weatherly.
A layup by Farrow late in the third period sent Central into the fourth quarter with a 50-35 lead.
DICKINSON (69) -- David Bratten 3 2-3 10, Darryl Bates 6 0-2 13, Robert Moran 3 0-0 6, Josh Bacon 0 0-0 0, Terence Nelson 1 0-2 2, Norman Little 3 1-2 8, Alex Brown 1 3-5 5, Andre Oupah 4 2-2 11, Willie Williams 6 2-3 14, Caleb Percy 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 27 10-19 69.
SUSSEX CENTRAL (71) -- Andrew Weatherly 6 2-4 15, Frank Roach 0 2-5 2, Leroy Mann 2 1-2 5, Darris Sample 0 2-2 2, Layton Wright 0 0-0 0, James Cannon 13 5-10 31, Orlando Farrow 7 2-4 16, Jesse Makowski 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 28 14-27 71.
Three-point field goals: Dickinson 5 (Bratten 2, Bates, Little, Oupah); Sussex Central 1 (Weatherly).
Sussex Central coach Tim Slade on the fourth quarter collapse:
"They were all out there afraid to play any defense for fear they might foul their people and they were giving them open shots. So when you give a team open shots and they have the mometum, I mean, things like that are going to happen. And then as far as on the press, it just seemed like everybody was so frustrated missing foul shots that they didn't want the ball. James didn't want the ball, Frank didn't want the ball ... Frank, he's a sophomre and this is experience for him and he's got to want the ball at the end of the game and he didn't want the ball. He just kept throwing the ball away, but I didn't really have anybody I could go to at the end of the game so I had to live with it. But hopefully, they learned from this and they'll have that desire to have the ball and we'll play to win rather than not to lose."
Slade further describing the fourth quarter collapse:
"I don't know what happened. It just changed. With 5 something on the clock, the whole game just changed. We were playing really well, getting layups, breaking their press. And then the next thing you know it just seemed like nobody wanted to tocuh the ball. The only one that probably wanted the ball was Farrow but we just weren't getting the ball to him. People were wide open and we weren't looking for them. I mean, we played nervous. We actually played nervous. We've actually never been on this end all year. We're usually down and we're fighting and I guess we're not used to it. We've never had an 18-point lead and had to worry about being pressured like that. Fortunately we came out with a win. I'm just glad we got by it. I don't want to have to go through this again."
Slade on the Knights' foul shooting woes when Dickinson started fouling:
"Their coach was smart. That was the smart thing to do, to continue to foul us. It was obvioius nobody on the team wanted the ball except farrow and they weren't getting Farrow the ball. The plan was to get the ball to Farrow but for some reason they weren't gettin the ball to Farrow. We were just fortunate enough to come out with the win. Their coach did a good job. He knew exactly what was going on. If it was me, I would have kept fouling us, too. Nobody wanted the ball in a pressure situation. You've got a packed gym, the state tournament on the line, and nobody wanted the ball. That's not how you play when it comes down to a do or die situation. You either want it or you don't. Those who don't usually go home, but fortunately we get to stay around for another day."
Slade on center James Cannon's 1,000th career point:
"I thought that was very remarkable. I wasn't sure he would get it tonight. I went and scouted Dickinson and they were pretty aggressive inside, so I wasn't sure he would get it. He definitely deserves it. He's a remarkable guy. You've talked to him and you know what kind of kid he is."
Sussex Central center James Cannon on scoring his 1,000th career point:
"It means a lot. I really wouldn't have a thousand points if it wasn't for my teammates, Orlando, Andrew and Leroy. It feels really good right now."
Cannon on the fourth quarter collapse:
"I think today's game, the fourth quarter, we kind of broke down a little bit. But I think we'll bounce back."
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