Final seconds cost Warhawks

Published 11:39 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It took the Jefferson Davis Community College Warhawks 39 and a half minutes to get in position to win, but it took only 30 seconds for it to slip away in Saturday's 72-67 home loss to the Lawson State Cougars
JDCC fought back from a 10-point deficit with 12 minutes left to take a three-point lead when a series of miscues in the waning moments let it slip away.
The Warhawks led 67-64 when Lawson State's Reginald Robinson drove in, scored and was fouled with 25 seconds. Robinson hit the ensuing foul toss to tie the game at 67-67.
Despite that play, JDCC was still in position to set up a possible game-winning shot. That attempt never materialized after DaWaun Johnson was called for a five-second violation.
The turnover gave the Cougars (5-5) their chance to go for a game-winning shot. That attempt also never materialized, but it did not need to when Robinson drew a blocking foul against Lyndon Butler with 3.6 seconds left. That gave Robinson two free throws and he hit both to put Lawson State up 69-67.
JDCC again still had a chance to get off a game-tying or winning shot, but the Warhawks never got that attempt off. JDCC turned the ball over on the inbounds pass at the same time it tried to call timeout. The timeout was originally granted, but was changed to a turnover.
Warhawks coach Allen Gainer drew a technical foul after the change in calls. Lawson State closed the door a little bit more when Terance Ayers hit one of two free throws to make it 70-67 with 3.1 seconds left.
The Cougars retained possession after the technical and Ayers was immediately fouled with 1.5 seconds left. Ayers left a brief crack open when he missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Warhawks got the rebound and called timeout with a second left. JDCC's last chance fizzled when Jake Nelson's inbounds pass hit the edge of the backboard and bounced in the hands of Brandon Hampton, who scored a meaningless basket at the buzzer.
The wild finish followed a first half that featured six lead changes. The Warhawks, who never led by more than two points in the first half, took their last lead in the first 20-minute session with 6:22 left when Norman Griffin nailed a shot from the wing that put JDCC up 22-21.
Lawson State took the lead for the remainder of the first half when a three-point play by Demtetrius Coates, who scored 13 first half points, put the Cougars up 25-22 with 4:59 left.
A bucket by Coates and two field goals by Hampton in the final three minutes of the half enabled the Cougars to stretch their advantage to 32-27 at halftime.
Lawson State took its biggest lead of the game with 12 minutes left when a bucket by Hampton put the Cougars up 46-36.
The Warhawks were able to work their way back due to their ability to get to the free throw line. JDCC, which hit 10 of 16 free throws in the second half, was in the bonus with 13 minutes left and in the super bonus with more than 10 minutes remaining.
While free throws enabled the Warhawks to cut into the deficit, it was back-to-back buckets by Justin Owens with just over seven minutes that put JDCC up 53-52.
Both teams hit two big three-pointers with less than three minutes left. The Cougars got a trey from Alex Engram with 2:49 remaining to go ahead 61-58, but Smith and Johnson answered with three-pointers for the Warhawks to put JDCC up 64-61 with 1:52 remaining. That lead did not last long, as Jermale Jones hit a three-pointer from the corner that deadlocked the score at 64-64 with 1:29 left.
Owen gave JDCC the lead once again when he scored off an offensive rebound to put the Warhawks up 66-64 with a minute left. A Lawson State turnover on the ensuing possession led to a foul against the Cougars and a trip to the foul line for Johnson. Johnson could have made it a two-possession lead, but hit just one of two attempts to make it 67-64 with 31 ticks left.
The Warhawks are off until Jan. 6 when they host Bevill State at 2 p.m. That will be JDCC's last non-divisional game before it opens up league Jan. 8 at home against Chattahoochee Valley.
Lawson State 31 41 - 72
JDCC 26 41 - 67
LAWSON SATTE (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Robinson 6-0-3-15; Coates 1-3-2-13; Hampton 6-0-0-12; Engram 1-3-0-11; Fedrick 5-0-0-10; Hardnett 1-0-2-4; Ayers 1-0-1-3; Jones 0-1-0-3; Orr 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 21-7-9-72)
JDCC (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Johnson 6-1-6-21; Smith 3-2-1-13; Griffin 3-1-2-11; Owens 5-0-0-10; McKinney 3-0-2-8; Butler 1-0-1-3; Hammond 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 21-4-13-67)

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