The Tabernacle Falcons are now two wins away from a third-straight GBSSAA Derek Nesbitt/Obie Wilchcombe High School Basketball League championship.
The defending senior boys champions scraped out a 2-1 best-of-three series victory over their rivals, the Sunland Stingers this past Monday night at the Jack Hayward Gymnasium.
Game three was one that went down to the wire but the Falcons eventually prevailed by a final score of 66-62. Joshua Dames led the Falcons with a team-high 22 points. Rolantae Knowles of the Stingers, however, poured in a game-high 23 points in the loss.
With the win, the Falcons moved on to their third-straight appearance in the GBSSAA finals. This evening at 5:00 p.m. the number two seeded Falcons will take on the number one seeded St. George’s Jaguars over at the St. George’s Gymnasium.
The Falcons controlled the pace in the first quarter, although they went into the second period holding only a 16-10 lead.
Dames opened up the second quarter with a three-pointer to bump the Falcons’ lead up, 19-10. A free throw later from the Stingers made the score 19-11. A Stingers’ possession later, Cornish was found wide open on the wing to drill home a three which brought the Stingers within five points, 19-14 in favor of Tabby with just six minutes to go in the second period.
As the action picked up in the quarter Knowles was fouled by Dames on a three-point attempt with 5:27 left to tick. However, Knowles made just one of three of his attempts. The score stood at 19-15 as a result.
Moments later, a pair of free throws and a goal tending violation called on the Falcons tied things up at 19 apiece for the Stingers with 4:20 remaining.
A back and forth close to the second quarter saw the Falcons ahead 30-28 as they went into halftime.
The Stingers opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run to lead 36-30 over the Falcons with just over six minutes to go.
Later, with 3:34 left in the period Stingers’ forward Oswald Meadows was fouled on a three-point attempt. He made all three of the subsequent free throws to push the stingers lead up 39-30.
A pair of free throws from the Falcons made it a 39-32 score before the Stingers made it 41-32 on the following possession.
Falcons’ forward Romad Dean would later bring the Falcons back with a three-pointer as the Stingers’ lead stood at 41-35 as a result. However, the Stingers’ Martie Davis was later fed in the post as he scored easily to push the Stingers’ lead up, 43-35 with just under two minutes remaining in the second.
With 1:14 to go in the third the Falcons came storming back. Dames took a hard foul and was sent to the free throw line. He made one of two of his free throws and the score stood at 43-36.
Off the Stingers’ miss on the following possession Dames, again, made things happen as he was fouled while driving to the rim with 56.7 seconds left. He made one of two of his attempts which made it a 43-37 game in favor or the Stingers.
The Falcons continued to rally and closed the quarter trailing the Stingers, 43-41.
Dames opened up the fourth for the Falcons with a strong drive and make at the rim to make it all even at 43 apiece.
A Falcons’ free throw with 6:50 to go gave them eventually a 44-43 lead.
A possession later Dean drilled home another three to increase the Falcons’ lead, 47-43. Nonetheless, the Stingers responded right back with a three of their own to make it a 47-46 game for Tabby.
On the other end, Dean was later fouled on a three-point attempt with 5:55 remaining. However, Dean would miss all three attempts.
Moments later off a Stingers’ miss, Dames pushed the pace and found an opening in the lane for an easy lay-in to make it a 49-46 game for the Falcons. As the Stingers attempted to move ball around Dean would later come away with an acrobatic steal and finish at the other end. The Falcons led 51-46 as a result.
The Stingers found themselves at the free throw line with 5:11 to spare in regulation. Davis would make all two attempts to make it a 51-48 game. Seconds later on the fast break Knowles was fouled while making the lay-up. He completed the three-point play to tie things up at 51 apiece with 4:42 left.
With just four minutes left Knowles came up big with a steal and was fouled on the fast break while making the bucket. He made the following free throw to give the Stingers a 54-51 lead.
Later, the Falcons scored off a put back to creep within one-point, 54-53 and later took the lead, 55-54 after the Falcons came away with a steal and score off the turnover.
Later with 2:55 left Dean was fouled and his two made free throws gave the Falcons a 57-54 lead.
Down the stretch with 1:21 left to tick Davis was fouled on offensive rebound and put back attempt. He would make the pair of free throws making it a one-point 57-56 lead for the Falcons.
With 57.1 seconds left to tick Davis was sent to the line once again. The Stingers’ center gave them the lead, 58-57 after he made good on the free throws.
The Falcons later called for a time out to talk things over. Out of the time out Dean was fouled on the drive through the lane while making the basket to take a 59-58 lead. The made free throw gave the Falcons a 60-58 cushion with 46.9 seconds left.
In a wild sequence that followed the Falcons put down two big dunks off two turnovers by the Stingers to take a 64-58 lead.
Still, Knowles was fouled and sent to the line on the made lay-up with 14 seconds left but later missed the free throw.
12.9 seconds were left as Dean was intentionally fouled. He made one of two his attempts to give the Falcons a 65-60 lead.
On the inbound, Knowles was given a clear lane to the rim as he made it a 65-62 game for the Falcons.
As the Falcons attempted to dribble the time out, Dames was intentionally fouled with 3.7 seconds left. He made one of two but it was enough to ice the game for the Falcons.