Nick Pierce, Correspondent (@ on Twitter)
Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – FAMU DRS held off a fourth quarter rally, holding on to beat NFC 85-81 in overtime. The win marked the second year in a row that the Baby Rattlers went undefeated in district play.
After building a 65-51 lead with just five minutes remaining in the game, FAMU DRS (13-9, 10-2) fell victim to a vicious Eagle rally. Andre Combs and Major Posey led NFC on a 15-4 scoring run. At one point during the run, the Eagles (6-14, 4-6) went to the free-throw line three times in just 37 seconds. Deandre McCray then made a layup with eight seconds remaining, tying the game at 74 and sending it to overtime.
“I thought that they came back on the free-throw line. We allowed them to get there too much, and that rattled our kids,” Baby Rattler coach Sean Crowe said. “It’s all part of the maturation process, though. We’re still a pretty young team and have some growing up to do.”
FAMU DRS took the lead for good after Chris Brown hit a three-pointer with 1:14 left in the overtime period. Brown then sealed the game by making a free-throw with seven seconds remaining, putting the Baby Rattlers up by two possessions.
“I think a big part of our success is that our players are just learning to play with each other,” Crowe said. “They’re getting comfortable with what I’m asking them to do. I know what they like and they know what I like, so it works.”
FAMU DRS trailed for almost the entirety of the first half. That changed when Posey was charged with a technical foul with 1:01 left in the second quarter. Baby Rattler guard Mekhi Yant was then sent to the line. Yant made all four of his free-throws and Brown drained a jumper on the ensuing possession. The six-point swing gave FAMU DRS a 37-36 halftime lead.
“Mekhi’s growing into the leadership role,” Crowe said. “He played great for us tonight. One of the things I’ve asked him to do is to teach the new guys how we do things. He’s done a really good job with that.”
The Baby Rattlers host Lincoln tomorrow night. The Eagles will take on Aucilla Christian Monday night.
Mekhi Yant – 21
Marquis Davis – 19
Javion Johnson – 10
Chris Brown – 8
Andre Combs – 16
Deandre McCray – 14
Trent Phillips – 13
Major Posey – 13
Victor Clark – 8