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Blue Devils fend off Blaze in final seconds
Jan 22, 2007 12:00 am
O'Keefe McCarver's last-minute free throws propelled Lebanon to a 61-57 victory over the visiting Blaze of Blackman High Friday at Campbell Brandon Gymnasium/Hester Gibbs Court.
Blackman came within two points, 57-55, with 25 seconds on the game clock before McCarver sank four free throws to give the Blue Devils just enough edge to pull off the victory.
"We knew (Blackman) was going to make a run," Blue Devil coach Doug Keil said after his team moved to 12-9 overall and 4-4 in District 7-AAA. "We just didn't know how big of a run it was going to be."
Lebanon held the lead 32-14 at the half and stretched the advantage to 21 points, 42-21, midway through the third quarter which ended 44-27.
"The guys played hard all night," Keil said. "We made some mistakes late and you can't do that against good teams on a consistent basis and expect to win."
Blackman stepped up the defensive pressure in the final period, which threw off the Blue Devils rhythm and allowed the Blaze to battle back in the closing minutes.
Lebanon maintained a double-digit lead until just under 3:30 to go when the Blaze fired in seven unanswered points to pull within six with 1:02 to play.
"We didn't handle the pressure well," Keil said. "That's something our guys haven't seen a lot of."
McCarver was the leading scorer with 24 points for the Blue Devils. Terrence logue tossed in 10 points, Connor Burger eight, Ken Walton seven, Hershal McCathern six, Michael Edwards and Xavier Smith two apiece and Alex Johnson a free throw.
David Barnes led the way for Blackman with 18 points.
The Blue Devils visit White County on Tuesday.
Staff Writer Kimberly Jordan can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 44 or by email at email@example.com.