RED SPRINGS — Each day in practice, Red Springs senior forward Mario Leonard attempts some running 3-point shots, something questioned by Red Devils head coach Glenn Patterson Jr.
Saturday in the MLK Classic, that practice paid off.
Leonard hit a running 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Red Devils a 52-49 win over Southern Lee.
“He’s one that’s in here every day getting up shots,” Patterson Jr. said. “The crazy thing about it is he does little runners like that every day in practice, and I always get on him like ‘what are you doing, stop shooting the ball like that.’ And he actually made a running 3-pointer.”
Leonard got the ball at midcourt on an inbounds pass with four seconds remaining, then ran to the right wing and took the 3-point shot that won the game for Red Springs (8-7).
“I saw that we needed to get a shot off really quick, and I trusted myself to get the shot off,” Leonard said. “I was confident in the shot when I shot it.”
“Mario flashed in the middle, flashed open, got the ball, and I thought he was going to do a dribble handoff, but he ended up actually taking the shot, which I don’t mind him doing because we get up reps every day,” Patterson Jr. said.
After two 3-pointers by Kohnner Oxendine and another by Noah Chavis early in the fourth, Red Springs led 46-39 with 5:18 to go before Southern Lee (1-12) battled back and tied the game at 49-49 on a Joshua Stone layup with 20 seconds left. Stone was fouled on the shot, but missed the free throw, before the Cavaliers missed a putback attempt and the Red Devils regained possession with a jump ball. Patterson Jr. called timeout with four seconds left, setting up the inbounds pass to Leonard by Chavis.
Southern Lee led 13-7 after the first quarter. Three second-quarter 3-pointers and a traditional 3-point play by Chavis sparked a 16-8 Red Devils run to take a 23-21 lead with 2:02 left in the half. Leonard hit a more conventional 3-pointer, making a jumpshot from distance, just before the halftime buzzer to give Red Springs a 26-25 lead at the break.
The Cavaliers took a 37-31 lead with 2:52 left in the third after consecutive layups by Isaiah Bronson. Red Springs answered with a 15-2 run to take its 46-39 fourth-quarter lead.
“It took some type of toughness at the end,” Patterson Jr. “We dug ourselves in a hole, and I told them, you can’t play a team based off their record. Every year, regardless of how talented their team is, they play hard. I told them at the beginning, and we came out flat still. We came around, and it ended up almost slipping away from us, but we found a way to pull it out at the end.”
Chavis finished with 15 points for the Red Devils, Kaedon Porter scored 12 points, Oxendine had 10 and Leonard added seven.
“Since the beginning of the season we started playing more team ball, with everybody getting their touches,” Leonard said. ‘Whoever’s hot that game, we try to feed them so they can score.”
Bronson led Southern Lee with 16 points and Stone had eight.
Red Springs travels to East Bladen Thursday.
Tatum, Henderson lift St. Pauls boys over Scotland
Led by the strong play of Jeyvian Tatum in the first half and Josh Henderson and Marcus Galbreth in the second half, the St. Pauls boys basketball team earned a 77-45 win over Scotland in the MLK Classic Saturday at Red Springs.
Tatum scored 19 of his 26 points in the first half; Galbreath scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half and Henderson had eight of his 15 after halftime.
“That’s very valuable, especially when you’ve got guys that can bring it on a consistent basis,” St. Pauls coach Corey Thompson said. “The first half Jeyvian played well, and I thought he played well in the second half too, but Josh and those guys —that’s the thing, we’ve got to do a good job of sharing the basketball. Once we start sharing the basketball it gives other guys the opportunity to show what they can do as well.”
St. Pauls (7-5) led 17-12 after the first quarter and held a 25-20 advantage with 4:50 left in the half; an 11-0 run extended the lead to 36-20, with Tatum scoring nine of the 11 points in the run; the Bulldogs led 36-22 at halftime.
“(Tatum) is as good as it gets,” Thompson said. “When he’s scoring, our team is engaged, and it opens up for everybody else too because the defense tries to take him away. He’s such an unselfish player that he can get guys open. But when he’s scoring the basketball, it gets our defense going and gets other guys going too.”
Scotland (4-8) scored the first two baskets of the third quarter to close to a 36-26 deficit; St. Pauls outscored the Scots 19-8 over the rest of the period, including seven points from Galbreath and five points from Henderson, and the Bulldogs led 55-34 going to the fourth.
St. Pauls continued the run into the fourth, taking a 72-39 lead with 3:53 to go.
“I’m glad we’re playing some good basketball; we can still play better basketball, especially on the defensive end,” Thompson said. “But I’m glad the guys are having some success and we’re just hopefully going to keep it rolling going into conference play.”
Lamonte Cousar and Chris Quick each scored seven points to lead Scotland.
St. Pauls hosts Red Springs on Friday.
Undermanned Red Springs girls beat Southern Lee
Down to just four varsity players due to COVID-19 protocols, the Red Springs girls basketball team earned a 28-22 win over Southern Lee in the opener of Saturday’s MLK Classic.
“I told the girls, just defense and run the floor; if they play good defense and run the floor they’ve got a good chance to win the game, and we came together as a team and did what we had to do,” said Linda Crosland, Red Springs’ acting head coach in William Judd’s absence.
Red Springs (6-9) led 21-9 in the final minute of the third quarter before Southern Lee (3-8) used an 11-2 run to make it a 23-20 game with 4:10 to go. But the Red Devils held the Cavaliers without a field goal for the rest of the game, and got a free throw from LeAngelo Cobb and baskets from Monica Washington and Jazlyn Jones to stretch their lead to 28-20 with 2:27 remaining.
“Once I saw them making a run I told them to stay in a press break and try to get the ball in and push the ball down the court. And they did that,” Crosland said. “Being my first time coaching the varsity girls, they did a great job and I was proud of them.”
Neither team got on the scoreboard until a Washington basket halfway through the opening quarter and Red Springs led 5-0 at the end of the period. Sequoia Lindsey made Southern Lee’s first basket with 5:55 left in the first half, and quickly made another, but after another Cavaliers drought lasted the rest of the half, Red Springs led 12-4 at intermission.
Washington led all scorers with eight points.
“I told Monica just catch the ball and if you get the ball inside just take it up, and make sure when you’re playing defense just keep your hands in the air and try not to foul out, and she did just what I asked,” Crosland said.
Amyah Farrington and Cobb each scored six points and Jones had five for Red Springs. Dasha Battle scored seven points to lead Southern Lee and Brenta Latta had five.