Duvall 3-pointer sends Bruins to semifinals
By Marcus Stone, Sports Editor
photo by Reed Galin / firstname.lastname@example.org
Asa Duvall hit a 3-pointer with under five seconds remaining Wednesday, sending Brentwood to the Class AAA BlueCross Basketball Championship semifinals with a 52-49 victory over previously undefeated Blackman.
“It felt great,” Duvall said. “Not even the stage, just the fact that it was Blackman and they killed us earlier in the year. That was a lot of my motivation coming in.”
The Blaze defeated Brentwood 74-41 on Dec. 7 and looked to be on their way to another runaway win early, leading the Bruins 29-11 at halftime.
Blackman, trailing 4-0 in the open minutes, responded with an 18-1 run through the opening minutes of the second quarter when Duvall snapped the streak with a basket at the 5:30 mark.
“Coach (Dennis) King let us have it at halftime,” said Duvall. “He let us have it. He said: ‘Is this how you want to go out?’”
King described the halftime talk as “brutal” and “vintage”. Mainly, it was effective.
Having shot 3-of-17 from the field in the first half - while going 0-7 from behind the 3-point arc, Brentwood found themselves in a 29-11 hole at intermission.
They quickly shrunk that deficit, going on an 11-2 run in the third quarter’s first two minutes.
“We came out really tight,” junior Andy Schumpert said of Brentwood’s first half. “A new arena, big stands – a lot of people in the stands, it was a new atmosphere for us. The second half we just played loose like we had nothing to lose. We made the big shots when we needed to.”
Schumpert played a big role in the Bruins’ comeback, scoring nine of his 14 points in the third quarter.
Brentwood continued to chip away at the Blaze lead, eventually evening the score 47-47 on two Duvall free throws with 3:01 remaining in the contest. Sophomore point guard James McPherson gave the Bruins their first lead since the opening moments minutes later on a backdoor cut and layup.
The comeback was made more improbable as senior Cody Shelton sprained his ankle on the first possession of the second half. King said he will be unavailable for the remainder of the tournament.
In his absence, Brentwood got significant production from their bench as Luke Pastina, Elijah Gonzalez, and Tanner Tapp played crucial minutes in the fourth quarter.
Duvall had a team 15 points for the Bruins while Schumpert added 14. Each, along with Jack Bautista, made two 3-pointers in the second half.
“We just battled and battled and battled,” King said of his team’s effort. “(Our) kids just believed the whole time.”
The Bruins advance to a 10 a.m. semifinal game Friday against Southwind at the Murphy Center on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University. Southwind defeated Oak Ridge 69-47 in Wednesday’s early match up.
Posted on: 3/13/2013