LaFayette wins 49-46 with last-minute goal
LaFAYETTE — Corey Boston made a desperation 3-pointer to send the LaFayette High School boys basketball team to a heart-stopping 49-46 win over Valley before a jam-packed gym on Friday.
Boston’s last-ditch shot hit nothing but net and completed an improbable rally to send Bulldogs’ supporters home happy.
Valley had taken a two-point lead, 46-44, with 15 seconds left when Keionte Dent made a lean-in jump shot just to the right of the lane. The Bulldogs inbounded the ball and raced up court with Boston attempting a shot with 10 seconds left. He missed but was fouled on the play. With ice water in his veins, he drained both free throws to tie the game at 46.
After a timeout, Valley inbounded the ball, brought it to the frontcourt and was working for the last-second shot when the ball was knocked free and toward the Rams’ goal. Boston was able to run it down and heave it toward the goal well beyond the arc on the left side of the court. The final buzzer sounded as the ball was in the air.
It was like a prayer was answered when the ball swished through the net, and it was the impetus for a wild on-court celebration.
The fans stormed the court to hug their heroes in black and gold.
The game was close throughout with neither team being able to build more than a four- or five-point lead. When one team pulled ahead by a couple of baskets, the other team fought back to build a small edge of its own.
The Rams scored the first two buckets of the game to grab a quick 4-0 lead. After a timeout, the Bulldogs grabbed the momentum and went up 6-4. The game then see-sawed back and forth with LaFayette having a three-point lead, 15-12, at the end of the first period.
Both teams played with a lot of intensity and were excellent on the defensive side of the ball. This resulted in many turnovers both ways and opportunities for each team to make runs.
In the middle of the second quarter, Ke’Andre Peterson nailed a long 3 to build LaFayette’s lead to 23-18. It was then Valley’s turn to go on a run. It narrowed the gap to two points, 23-21, at the half.
The Rams had the better of it in the third quarter and eased out to a four-point lead, 35-31, with less than two minutes to go in the period.
The Bulldogs bounced back to make the final two field goals of the quarter to tie the game at 35 heading into the final frame. Boston’s driving layup through traffic knotted the game just before the buzzer sounded.
No one knew at the time that he’d have another buzzer beater to win the game.
The Rams seized the momentum in the first few minutes of the final quarter. With Dent, Quez Trammell and Markevious Booker making some big plays, Valley took a five-point lead, 40-35. That set the stage for another Bulldog rally. Over the next few minutes, LaFayette outscored Valley 7-2 to force a 42-all tie.
With less than two minutes to go, Dent scored for Valley to give the Rams a two-point lead, 44-42. The Rams then stole the ball and had a chance to go up by four, but they turned it over before getting a shot.
The Bulldogs then tied the game at 44 on a layup by Boston with 40 seconds left in the game.
After a timeout, Valley showed patience in working for the go-ahead shot in the final seconds. It looked like its patience would be rewarded when Dent hit the go-ahead jumper with 15 seconds left.
In a game full of momentum swings, the final one went LaFayette’s way with Boston making two pressure-padded free throws and then making the miracle shot at the buzzer.
It was the kind of finish LaFayette fans could label the Legend of Corey Boston.
Boston led the way in scoring for LaFayette with 16. Matavais Burton had 10, Markevious Moore seven, Fitzgerald Briskey six, Peterson six and Jordan Walker four.
Dent and Kevonte Cooper each had 12 points for Valley. Trammell and Booker each scored seven, while Jacquez Trammell had six and T.J. Winston had two.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 14-5 overall. They are currently ranked ninth in the state in Class 2A.
Valley fell to 10-7.
In the girls game, the trio of Jasmine Pitts, Feliah Greer and Dai Dai Walton were too much for the Valley Lady Rams. They combined for 54 points as the Lady Bulldogs cruised to a 62-40 win. They are now 10-8 on the year.
Pitts led the way in scoring with 21 points. Greer had 18 and Walton 15.
Arieana Magby had nine points for Valley, and Kenjadae Dunn had eight. Arteria Florence added five points for the Lady Rams, and Kwame Cofield added three. Kennedy Silmon and Valencia Bennett each had two.
The Valley girls and boys play again today at Lanett. The JV boys game tips off at 2 p.m. and will be followed by the varsity girls and boys. LaFayette will return to action on Tuesday at Russell County.