MOREHEAD CITY – The regulatory 32 minutes were not enough to decide the champion of the 2013 Sports Center/Carolina Sports Holiday Classic. Neither was 36 – it took 40.
The Havelock Rams (5-5) and West Carteret Patriots (5-7 played to double overtime with the Rams holding on for a 78-75 victory.
With the game tied in regulation with nine seconds to go, Havelock guard Matt Boykin picked off a pass and darted to the rim getting fouled in the act, but missed both of his free throws.
In the closing seconds of the first overtime period with Havelock up by two, Khaliq Spencer hoisted a runner for the Patriots that danced on the rim before Jason Dudley tipped it home sending the game to a second bonus frame.
Havelock would go up by two again with less than a minute to go in the second overtime when Julian Cuthbertson was whistled for a foul on Chase Carraway’s 3-point attempt.
Carraway drained the trio of freebies, giving the Patriots a 75-74 lead with 38.9 seconds to go.
Tournament Most Valuable Player Kyran Bowman then drove to the rim for Havelock, making a layup to put the Rams up 76-75.
A Patriot miss that was rebounded by Keion Joyner of Havelock led to a clinching pair of free throws by Micheal Bowman.
“We definitely gave the people their money’s worth,” Havelock coach Bill Fryczynski said. “What a great game by a bunch of kids on both sides. I’m happy and proud that we were able to win two tough games in this tournament.”
The Rams defeated West Craven 55-50 in Friday’s opening round.
Kyran Bowman dropped in 27 points and was named tournament MVP. He scored 20 against West Craven the previous night.
Micheal Bowman delivered 19 points, including going 4-for-4 from the line in the overtimes.
“Mo (Micheal Bowman) was very valuable for us tonight,” Fryczynski said. “He is our sixth man coming off the bench, and I want him to embrace that role because he is a great weapon to have in that spot.”
In a game with many odd occurrences, Dudley’s tip-in was ruled just in time by the officials at the end of the first overtime, and West Carteret guard Nathan Windley swished a halfcourt shot to end the first half.
West Carteret placed four players in double-figures for the second night in a row.
“I think tonight we proved we can play with the upper echelon of this conference and I think Havelock will be right there at the top of it,” West Carteret coach Craig McClanahan said. “We teach the guys to play together and trust each other and they buy into that. That’s West Carteret basketball.”
Havelock’s title game victory was its fifth straight of the season after starting 0-5 as many of its players were on the football team.
Havelock (78) – Kyran Bowman 27, Micheal Bowman 19, Jordan Begley 12, Keion Joyner 10, Jordan Cuthbertson 6, Shondel Granison 4.
West Carteret (75) – Nathan Windley 24, Chase Carraway 18, Khaliq Spencer 13, Jason Dudley 10, Austin Fountain 7, Maleek Walker 2, Dylan Carpenter 1.
Jordan Honeycutt is a reporter for the Sun Journal.