Woodlawn pushes past Griffins in overtime

Peter Silas Pasqua
Dutchtown’s John Williams shoots against Woodlawn’s Bryan Larzare and Craig McFerrin in the first quarter of the Panthers’ 61-57 overtime opening round victory at the Gold Dome Classic Wednesday evening.

ST. AMANT - Woodlawn’s Eric Vidrine nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing in overtime and the Panthers connected on six of eight free throws down the stretch to turn back Dutchtown 61-57 in the opening game of the first round of the Ralph Sellers Gold Dome Classic Wednesday evening.

Woodlawn led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter before the Griffins’ Terrance Cushenberry made the second of two free throws with 25.1 seconds remaining to send it into overtime knotted up 50-50.

“The kids showed a lot of resilience fighting back through the deficit but obviously it wasn’t enough,” Dutchtown head coach Patrick Hill said. “They posed a lot of matchups with their kids. We are not very tall and don’t jump very high. They got a lot of buckets on us just by missing shots and going back to get it.

“A couple of guys shoot the ball well but we have to get some scoring from somebody else on the court. I still consider that one of our weaknesses. We don’t shoot the ball that well.”

Woodlawn defeated Dutchtown 53-48 a week earlier in the Grady Hornsby Classic. The Panthers advanced to face Airline Thursday, while the Griffins fell into the loser’s bracket against Hammond Friday night.

The Griffins (2-3) were led by Cushenberry with 21 points. Scott Burgess added 18, while Jordon Biagas had 10.

Craig McFerrin led Woodlawn (5-2) with 31 points. Tim Crockett added 11 and Braylon Larzare provided nine. 

“I thought we played about 28 minutes of really good basketball and in the last four minutes we checked out,” Woodlawn head coach Elmo Fernandez said. “They hit shots to get them back in the game and we knew they could do that. We turned the ball over at key moments. We have to go inside to our big people. That is our bread and butter. That is how we are going to win or lose games.”

McFerrin’s inside bucket put the Panthers ahead 31-16 in the third quarter before Cushenberry connected on three straight 3-pointers to cut it to nine which was the deficit heading into the final frame.

Cushenberry’s free throws to open the fourth quarter made it o 37-30 before Crockett and Biagas traded drives.

Burgess’s pull up jumper cut it to 42-39 with 3:30 left to play after Dorian Harleaux and Donovan McCall’s consecutive baseline jumpers. Jon Alexander and McFerrin’s drives sandwiched Biagas’ reverse before Burgess fed a driving McCall.

McCall’s dish to Cushenberry off  a steal preceded McFerrin’s dunk in transition and Biagas’ baseline jumper before Cushenberry knotted it up.

Larzare fed McFerrin inside to open the extra frame before Harleaux’s tip and Vidrine’s 3-pointer. After Burgess’ free throws, Vidrine nailed four free throws before Cushenberry pulled up for a 3-pointer near the top of the key in the waning moments.

Cushenberry's drive across the lane opened the contest before Biagas’ jumper near the free throw line gave the Griffins their final lead 4-2. Woodlawn went ahead on Larzare’s inside bucket before McFerrin spun inside. Burgess nailed a 3-pointer near the top of the key to cut it to 12-10 at the buzzer after Larzare’s baseline jumper.

Larzare’s putback opened the second quarter before Burgess drove lane. McFerrin’s spin inside preceded Burgess’ putback before Cushenberry pulled up near the free throw line but Woodlawn closed out the half on a 7-0 run capped by McFerrin’s spin inside just before the buzzer after Larzare’s putback and Crockett’s dish to McFerrin in transition and one.

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Dutchtown’s Jared Spriggs shoots against Woodlawn’s Bryan Larzare in the Panthers’ 61-57 victory Wednesday night.