Photo courtesy of COP
An early morning Challenge-round game between a pair of 0-2 teams in the tourney usually doesn’t provide this much interest. However, Gray Collegiate showed us yesterday that they have some solid college-level talent while Riverview is one of the more exciting young teams in the state of Florida.
It took a while, but Gray Collegiate finally broke the ice with a three from Khalil Robinson. That was the first of a trio of baskets from beyond the arc to get Gray out to a 9-0 lead at the 4:32 mark, forcing Riverview to call a time out. After starting the game with five straight turnovers and a miss, Riverview finally got on the board with a three from Malachi Wideman. Another bucket inside by Riverview’s Jakobi Davis brought them to within four. The teams would stay even from that point and after another three Wideman, the score was 17-12 in favor of Gray with thirty-five seconds left. However, Gray connected on a pair of shots from beyond the arc, one from Jay Gortman and the other from Tommy Brunner to lead 20-12 after one quarter of play.
After scoring the first four points of the second period, Gary had doubled up Riverview 24-12 with just over one minute gone. Riverview got the margin down to eight after scores from Jayven Millien and Marquel Bryant. A bit later, a three from Jalil Robinson pushed the lead to ten at 29-19 with just under four minutes to play. A driving bucket by Wideman and a transition basket from Bryant got Riverview to back to within six a minute later. A bucket from Khalil Robinson of Gray was offset by a dunk from Wideman and a three from Bryant to draw Riverview to within three at 31-28 with thirty seconds left in the half. However, a late bucket on a drive by Khalil Robinson would make the halftime score 33-28 in favor of Gray Collegiate.
Gray opened the third quarter with an 8-2 run to push their lead to eleven at 41-30 just two minutes into the period. Riverview clipped four points off of that deficit but with four minutes left in the period Gray still had a comfortable lead at 43-34. A that point, both teams started a run of making three point shots, and with two minutes left in the third Gray led by ten at 52-42. Riverview then ran off six straight, four of those points from Wideman, to get within four at 52-48. Khalil Robinson hit a three just before the end of the quarter to make it a seven point game at 55-48.
The fourth quarter saw Riverview start hot and after two minutes of play, they had outscored Gray 9-4 to draw within two at 59-57. A three from Zach Mobley gave Riverview its first lead at 60-59. Gray grabbed it right back with a transition basket from Brunner. A bucket inside from Terrell Jackson and another from Mobley gave Riverview a three point lead at 64-61 with just over three minutes to play. Brunner brought Gray back to within one with a mid-range jumper but a steal and score from Wideman made it 66-63 in favor of Riverview with just under two minutes to play. Wideman had a chance to grow that lead but missed the front end of a one-and-one. Chase McDuffie connected on a three with forty-five seconds left to tie it at 66. Neither team would score for the rest of regulation and we headed to overtime!
In the overtime period, Gray led by five at 73-68 with just under three minutes to play. That didn’t hold back Riverview, and their pressure defense forced some turnovers on which they capitalized. Riverview would fight back to tie the score at 73 and we moved into a SECOND overtime!
The teams stayed even with each other and with time running down and the score tied at 78, Gray had possession. Khalil Robinson drove in from the left wing and with one second left launched a scoop shot that find its mark and he also received a favorable whistle. He completed the three point play, leaving Riverview too little time to get a chance to send the game into a third overtime. Gray Collegiate would win a thrilling early morning contest in double OT, 81-78.
Khalil Robinson led five players in double figures for Gray Collegiate with 26 points. Brunner finished with 18, McDuffie with 13, Jalen Deloach with 11 and Jalil Robinson with 10 points.
Wideman of Riverview led all scorers with 33 points while Matteo Cantena added 11 points.