Tuesday, 02 March 2021 12:47

Rockets outlast Red Rams in OT rivalry thriller

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Keyonta Davis (2) dribbles up the floor Monday with Amer Morrison and Jordan Bostic (11) in pursuit. Keyonta Davis (2) dribbles up the floor Monday with Amer Morrison and Jordan Bostic (11) in pursuit. Deon Cranford - The Richmond Observer.

HAMLET — Four quarters of basketball wasn’t enough for the Rockingham and Hamlet boys’ basketball teams on Monday.

The two in-county rivals met for the second time this season, and it was the Rockets who managed to earn the 43-40 overtime victory over the Red Rams.

Hamlet and head coach Keith Parsons overcame a 26-14 halftime deficit, and used a 12-0 run in the final 1:10 of the fourth quarter to tie the game at 39 points to force overtime. 

Jason Walker started the spurt with a layup, and teammate Jordan Bostick scored on a fast break with 52.1 seconds remaining. Walker scored on a putback and Bostick hit a three-pointer with 10.1 seconds remaining to pull within one possession.

Hamlet’s Ali West scored his three points of the game on a triple as time expired in regulation. Parsons had all of his timeouts during the run, and four missed free throws by the Rockets helped send the game into the extra period.

But it was the Rockets who outscored the Red Rams in overtime, using buckets from Joe Parsons and Keyonta Davis in the opening minute to seal the deal. Hamlet’s Jay Hamilton connected on a free throw for the Red Rams’ lone point.

“We’ve got pretty good size,” Rockingham head coach Julius Bowden said. “Joe is like a man amongst boys, and we know if we take close-range shots, the ball is going to go in or we’ll get a rebound. We try to use our size to our advantage and penetrate. Our big guys played good tonight.

“We saw how the last minute (of regulation) played out, and we weren’t happy with it,” he added of Hamlet’s run. “My guys brought all their energy back on the court. And we knew we had to calm down and play our game, play hard and attack the basket.”

The two teams traded baskets in the first quarter until the two-minute mark, which saw the Rockets and Red Rams tied at six points. From there, Rockingham went on an 18-2 run lasting until the 2:26 mark of the second quarter.  

Rockingham was more successful in the paint, connecting on layups and short jump shots. Five different Rockets contributed points to that run, including six points from Davis and four points each from Parsons and Keidrion Crump.

AJ Covington and Landon Taylor added two points during that stretch. Hamlet ended the drought with six straight points including a three-pointer from James Covington, but a layup by Gray Maultsby in the final seconds shifted the momentum back to the Rockets heading into the break.

Hamlet outscored Rockingham 9-5 in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 31-23.  Amer Morrison scored five of the Red Rams’ points in the quarter, including a three-pointer in the final seconds.

Chipping away, the Red Rams got within five points, 33-27, with 6:45 remaining in the game, but Rockingham answered with a floater from Taylor and Crump hit Davis in stride for an easy layup.

On Rockingham’s next possession, Covington scored on a putback, putting the Rockets back ahead by 12 points with just 1:38 left in the game. That’s when Walker started the run to help Hamlet push the game into overtime.

Parsons and Davis each led the Rockets with 12 points, while Bostick and Walker netted 12 and 11 points, respectively, for Hamlet.

Other scorers for Rockingham (3-0) were Covington (six points), Taylor (six points), Crump (four points), Maultsby (two points) and Jason Lee (one point).

Morrison contributed seven points for the Red Rams, Hamilton and West each had three points and Daylyn Goodwin and Covington added two points apiece. Hamlet (1-2) forced 30 turnovers in the loss.

Deon Cranford contributed stats and game information to this story.

Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

Twitter: ROSports_