Burno burns Bishop State as JDCC snaps slide
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
If the Jefferson Davis Community College Warhawks were looking for a hero, freshman Randall Burno did not figure to be a likely candidate.
Burno did not score in the first half and had a mere two points through 30 minutes. The next 15 minutes were a different story.
Notice that adds up to 45 minutes.
Burno caught fire down the stretch and wound up with 20 points to pace the Warhawks to an 82-80 overtime victory over the visiting Bishop State Wildcats Monday in an Alabama Community College Conference contest.
While Burno may have been an unlikely hero candidate, the Warhawks may not have seemed like much of a candidate to win the game. JDCC, which came into the game with a five-game losing streak, faced as much as a 17-point deficit in the second half.
"For whatever reason, it seems like one of the trademarks of my teams is to get off to a slow start in the first half and come back in the second half to make it exciting," Warhawks coach Allen Gainer said. "Early on we were a little flat, but then early in the second half we got three straight offensive rebounds. That seemed to give us a little spark."
That spark came from Burno and sophomore Greg Dickinson, who came up with 12 second half points.
With Bishop State up 43-26, Dickinson hit a pair of three-pointers and Burno drove inside for two more scores to spark a 10-0 run that quickly cut the gap to 43-36.
Just when it seemed the momentum had started to change, Bishop State got a three-point play from Cary Plummer, a three-pointer from Elfrin Miller and a bucket by Gicorey Keys that knocked the Wildcats' advantage up to 51-36 with 13 minutes left.
Bishop State still had a double digit lead of 56-46 with eight minutes left when the Warhawks made a move. Burno and Dickinson buried three-pointers, Norvell "Junior" Coleman hit two free throws and Brandon Montgomery scored off an assist from Dickinson that cut the gap to just 58-56.
Burno then delivered one of his many big plays down the stretch when he hit a three-pointer and was fouled on the play. He then hit the free throw to complete a rare four-point play to give JDCC a 60-58 lead. It was the Warhawks' first lead of the game.
As so often happens when a team rallies from a big deficit, the Warhawks' gas tank appeared to hit empty. Over their next five possession they scored just one free throw and committed three turnovers. Meanwhile the Wildcats rallied to take a 66-61 lead.
Bishop State increased that advantage to 68-62 with 2:20 left. The Wildcats still had a five-point lead of 69-64 with 52 seconds left and a four-point edge of 72-68 with 24 ticks left.
Burno hit a huge three-pointer with 19 seconds left that cut Bishop State's lead to just 72-71. More importantly, it made it a one-possession game.
After Miller hit a free throw with 17 seconds left to make it a 73-71 lead, the Warhawks had the chance to go for a tie or the win with a three-pointer.
Dickinson went for the win, but his three-point attempt from the corner was long. Jeff Foster, who also made some big clutch plays down the stretch, saved the rebound in the opposite corner. As Foster started to fall out of bounds on the save, he found Coleman near the top of the lane. Coleman was fouled as he drove inside with five seconds left.
Coleman, who has had some free throw struggles during the season but was nine-for-10 on this night, hit both to tie the game at 73-73 and force overtime.
JDCC appeared to move into the driver's seat in overtime after Burno hit a three-pointer and Foster connected on two free throws to make it 80-75 with 2:26 left.
Over the next minute Keys scored from inside and from behind the arc with a three-pointer to tie the game again at 80-80.
Both teams missed chance in the final minute. JDCC had a turnover on a travelling violation, while Miller fired up an air ball on the other end.
That gave the Warhawks another opportunity and this time they cashed it in when Coleman drove inside and then dished off to Burno on the baseline. Burno then hit nothing from net on a jumper from about 15 feet away with :02.1 left that gave JDCC an 82-80 lead.
The game was not over though. Bishop State got the ball up to half-court in a second where it called timeout. The Wildcats then missed had a three-point attempt rattle off the rim as the horn sounded.
"If we are to get a home game in the first round of our conference tournament, this was one we had to have. If we are to get a bye in the first round, we need both games this week," Gainer said. "Hopefully we can build off this win."
The Warhawks (7-12 overall and 2-4 in the ACCC) host Southern Union Thursday at 7 p.m.
Bishop State 39 34 7 – 80
JDCC 24 49 9 – 82
BISHOP STATE (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Harris 6-1-4-19; Miller 1-2-3-11; Williams 4-1-0-11; Hall 3-1-0-9; May 3-0-0-6; Brown 3-0-0-6; Keys 2-0-0-4; Hunt 1-0-2-4; Lane 1-0-1-3; Smith 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 27-5-11-80)
JDCC (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Burno 3-4-2-20; Dickinson 2-4-6-20; Foster 3-0-11-17; Coleman 2-0-9-13; Thompson 4-0-0-8; Montgomery 2-0-0-4 (Totals: 16-8-28-82)