Unranked Cypress Bay pushed Class 7A No. 2 Boyd Anderson to the brink of a shocking quarterfinal round exit in the BCAA Big 8 Boys Basketball Tournament before Cobras guard Dondre Duffus restored order.
Duffus scored 19 points, highlighted by a deep three-pointer with 1:09 left in overtime to tie the score 55-55 and then converted three free throws with under 13 seconds left as the Cobras escaped with a 60-55 overtime victory at Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday.
“I wasn’t trying to lose because I hate losing,’’ Duffus said. “On the three-pointer, I just had faith in my shot. We knew it was going to be a tough game because Cypress Bay executes their plays. They just played harder than us the whole game.”
With Cypress Bay coach Jason Looky seemingly pushing all the right buttons the Lightning (14-7) jumped on Boyd Anderson (19-4) early, forcing the Cobras play catch up for most of the game.
In the overtime, Cypress Bay went ahead 53-50 on a three-pointer from Russ Barnes before Cobras 6-6 forward Nick Eubanks followed Duffus’ three pointer with two free throws.
“It’s very frustrating,” Looky said. “Our kids competed. Tonight they fought really, really, hard. Unfortunately, sometime you can’t get to the free throw line when you need to.”
Boyd Anderson's Rodney Simeon provided the spark his team was missing early with a game-high 24 points, including four three-pointers.
The Cobras went up 50-47 with 1:39 left in regulation on two free throws from Duffus but Ross Udine (20 points) kept the Lightning’s upset bid alive when he picked up a loose ball and sank a three-pointer with 1:06 left to tie the score 50-50.
Eubanks (12 points) had a chance to score the go-ahead basket but he missed two point blank layups with under 14 seconds left to force the extra session.
Patrick Michel added 12 points and Barnes had 11 points for Cypress Bay.
In the late quarterfinal, reigning Big 8 champion and two-time defending state champion Blanche Ely regrouped after falling behind 29-21 at halftime to defeat Flanagan 61-58.
Flanagan forward Brandon Schabbel converted a layup and then Kyanti Blyden (20 points) hit a three-pointer with 1:08 left to cut the Ely lead to 56-54. But Ely’s Javon Heastie answered with a tough baseline shot on the other end and Lance Tejada converted a pair of free throws with 24.9 seconds left. Joshua Floyd led the Tigers with a game-high 21 points.