Final Score:Southwest Guilford 66, Charlotte Independence 65
(Courtesy of SWG Cowboys assistant coach Greg Vlazny)
The Cowboys of Southwest hosted the Patriots of Independence High School from Charlotte in the 3rd round of the State 4A State Playoffs tonight.
The Patriots defeated Mooresville by 20 in the first round, then Ardrey Kell by 21 in the second round to earn their place here in the sweet sixteen. The Cowboys got to tonight by way of a 21 point victory over Myers Park followed by a 43 point demolition of Alexander Central.
With that, both teams come into tonight’s contest boasting strong wins in the opening rounds. Which team will keep their season alive?
Southwest opened up the game with a 4-0 spurt, but it didn’t take long for the Patriots to come alive. Sparked by their 6’10 center’s defense the Patriots controlled the paint to take a 19-14 lead that was capped off with a buzzer beating three pointer.
The second frame again had the Cowboys take early control as they went on a 6-0 run to regain the lead at 20-19. It was short lived however as another three ball gave the Patriots the lead once again at 22-20. Another basket by the Patriots gave them a 4 point cushion. For the next several minutes the teams traded baskets with the Patriots keeping the lead. It wasn’t until there was 40 seconds left that the Cowboys retook the lead at 30-28. Once again though, on the ensuing possession a three ball gave the Patriots the lead back at 31-30, but a blitz in the final 27 seconds of the half by the Cowboys put up 4 straight points to take a 34-31 lead at the close of it.
The third quarter was more dogfight at the teams traded blows and baskets. This time it was Southwest that had a 4 point cushion and the teams traded baskets until the Patriots closed the frame out strong with yet another buzzer beating three ball to take a 52-49 lead headed into the final stanza.
The fourth quarter would be filled with intense action and drama. A monster slam off a Cowboys turnover by the Patriots opened up the frame taking us to 54-49. Again the teams traded baskets and body blows. Southwest reclaimed the lead at 56-55 with 6:20 to play, but by the 6:00 mark we were all tied at 56. 90 seconds later and we were even at 58 at 4:30 to play. Independence took the lead at 60-58 with 4:08 to play, and following a Cowboy miscue, it was 62-58 at 3:09. With the season winding down, the Cowboys turned back to one another and showed the team that they have. A three pointer of their own cut it to 62-61 with 2:50.
Following a defensive stop, the Cowboys missed a pair of free throws that could have given them the lead. Another defensive stop thanks to their pressure defense led to another layup giving them the 63-62 lead with 2:05 to play. The Cowboys unfortunately turned it over after getting a stop on defense which then led to another 3 pointer by the Patriots which gave them a 65-63 lead with just 1:30 to play.
The final 90 seconds were filled with action. Southwest missed on their possession and fouled in the backcourt forcing the Patriots to inbound in the full court. The full court pressure forced a turnover right under the basket and Senior Kaymon Mitchell was able to get the basket and was fouled. The free throw bounced out and the Cowboys managed to get the offensive rebound but the tip in fell short with the game tied at 65.
The Patriots called timeout with just 36 seconds left. Once again the Cowboys kept the full court pressure and nearly cost the Patriots another turnover but called timeout just before a 10 second violation was called. The Patriots second attempt to bring the ball up was stymied once again by the swarming Cowboys as they forced yet another turnover.
After a timeout, the Cowboys ran a set that got a penetrating drive to the basket and Kameron Langley was fouled hard with just 6.1 seconds to play. The injury knocked him out of the game, so Sophomore Ty Radford came into the contest to shoot the foul shots. He calmly walked up to the line and drilled the first one giving the Cowboys a 66-65 lead. The second shot rattled out and as the Patriots tried to advance the ball up the court the Cowboys got a critical steal right at midcourt forcing the Patriots to foul again.
Despite not connecting on the free throws, the defense of the Cowboys held on in the final 1.1 seconds for the gritty playoff win at home at 66-65. The Patriots were led by Marcus Thomas with 22 points. Southwest once again had a tremendous team effort that won’t always show in the book. Kaymon Mitchell led all scorers with 29, 7 Rebs, 2 Asts. Before hurting his leg, Kameron Langley finished with 17 points, 6 Rebs. Southwest wins the Sectional Championship and moves on to play at Charlotte Catholic next week.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final Independence 19 12 21 13 65 Southwest 14 18 15 17 66
Casey Allen 3
Chea Johnson 5
Chase Fairfax 6
Justyn Hamilton 11
Colin Holland 2
Matthew Statile 16
Marcus Thomas 22
Keyshaun Langley 9,4 Asts, 3 Rebs
Orlando Smith 2, 2 Stls, Ast, Blk
Kobe Langley 8, 6 Rebs, 5 Asts, 5 Stls
Ty Radford 1
Kameron Langley 17
Kaymon Mitchell 29