Davis’ layup lifts Falcons past Clarke Co.

WOODSTOCK — With the game on the line, Bryan Davis knew he had to be ready — and he was.

Davis, a freshman center, made a game-winning layup with six seconds left to give Central a 57-55 Bull Run District boys basketball victory over Clarke County on Friday night.

Central had the ball with 10 seconds left and the game tied at 55-55. After a timeout, Central guard Austin Fadely drove towards the basket and then dished it to Davis, who made a move and then went up for the game-winning layup.

“A lot was going on. The play was meant for Fadely, but they were keying on him and he dished it off. I’m speechless right now,” Davis said. “I was surprised it came to me. Austin was covered, but I thought he was going to shoot it and make it.”

Central coach Brandon Shields said they wanted the ball in Fadely’s hands, but he had the option to pass it if somebody got open.

“We kind of drew it up as ‘all the attention will be on you Austin. So if you drive it in there and you see somebody else’s defender coming to help, drop it off,'” Shields said. “Bryan made a heck of a play to score there. It wasn’t just a simple catch and shoot layup. He did a good job of gathering his feet and going up strong and scoring.”

The Eagles had one last chance, but Clarke County’s Hunter Rogers missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Central (10-9, 7-6 Bull Run) used a late third quarter run to pull away a little bit on the Eagles, after the game had been back and forth most of the way. The Falcons outscored the Eagles 15-9 during a stretch that overlapped the third and fourth quarters.

Davis and Joey McConkey scored on back-to-back possessions to give the Falcons a 34-30 lead with 2:25 left in the third. Clarke County’s Sean McDonald and Central’s Jimmy Rodriguez each hit two 3-pointers over the next five possessions as Central took a 40-36 lead.

McDonald then hit a conventional three-point play with 21 seconds left in the third period. Rodriguez then hit his third consecutive 3-pointer for a 43-39 lead after three quarters.

“Jimmy Rodriguez comes off the bench and sparks us again tonight — just lights out, that’s his job,” Shields said.

Fadely capped the Central run with two free throws to start the fourth quarter and a six-point lead.

The Eagles (6-12, 5-7 Bull Run) were able to tie the game at 47-47 with 4:37 left with an 8-2 run of their own. Central bounced right back with the next seven points, including a 3-pointer and a driving layup by McConkey.

“That’s probably the most complete overall team win I think we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Shields said. “We had seniors stepping up and doing things that aren’t necessarily on the stat sheet, but really contributed to what we wanted to do.”

The Eagles answered with another spurt on back-to-back baskets by Brett McDonald and two free throws by Justin Delaney to cut the lead to 54-53 with 53 seconds remaining.

Central senior Brady Baker hit a free throw with 34 seconds left, and then Rogers tied the game with a basket with 19 seconds remaining.

“It was a game where the last team to get a real play set was going to win that one,” Shields said. “We were fortunate to be that team tonight.”

Sean McDonald had 21 points to lead the Eagles. Brett McDonald had 11 points, and Justin Delaney had 10 for the Eagles.

Central had five players with at least nine points. McConkey had 14 points, while Fadely had 12 and Davis had 10. Rodriguez and Sam Barbour each had nine for the Falcons.

Davis said this win meant a lot to the players, especially the seniors.

“Some of our seniors, they haven’t beat Clarke in a while,” Davis said. “Tonight we got it done for the seniors. We played for them.”

The Falcons haven’t had a regular practice in over a week, and Shields said things are really coming together for them right now.

“All we’ve talked about the last week or so was controlling what we could control,” Shields said. “We can’t control the turnaround in our games. We can’t control the schedule. We can’t control whom we play. We can’t control who they have. All we’re worried about controlling is our effort, our intensity our execution, how tough we are, if we follow scout or not. If you do that, good things happen for you.

“It was good for the kids — they deserve it.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com