Home News Local sports Charlotte Amalie Wins Boys' MLK Tournament in Overtime

Charlotte Amalie Wins Boys' MLK Tournament in Overtime


Jan. 15, 2007 — A missed three-point shot in the final seconds of Monday's boys' championship game gave Charlotte Amalie High School a 60-58 overtime victory over Country Day in this year's Martin Luther King basketball tournament.
The tournament, held at the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School gymnasium, ran throughout the weekend, starting last Friday and ending Monday afternoon.
Country Day started the game hot from the field. After Stephen O'Reilly hit an opening three-pointer, Ryan Nelthropp's early buckets helped the Tigers to a 14-9 first-quarter lead.
Early turnovers by CAHS accounted for the team's first-quarter struggles. Coming out of the break, however, the Chickenhawks went into a pressure defense, momentarily confusing Country Day. A turnover by the Tigers led to a three-pointer from CAHS' Degnan Byron with 6:20 to go in the half, tying the score at 14.
Country Day recovered from their brief lapse by switching to a zone defense. CAHS was unable to beat the zone, and stolen passes led to easy fast-break points for the Tigers. CAHS was unable to score for the last 4:10 of the half, leaving the score at 23-17 in favor of Country Day.
CAHS started the second half on a full-court, man-to-man defense. A give-and-go play between Jahmi Miller and Byron led to a layup, which cut the lead to two. The pace of the game picked up and members of the crowd started to jump out of their seats with every shot as both teams proceeded to exchange points for the quarter.
At the end of the third, Country Day held a slim five-point lead, with the score at 37-32. Miller opened the fourth quarter with an uncontested layup to cut the lead to three. Country Day's O'Reilly responded with a three-pointer, but, seconds later, CAHS' Kahlid Gerard hit a three to cut the lead back to three.
CAHS then got a steal by Jelani Walters, which led to a fast-break layup, cutting the lead to one — 40-39 in favor of Country Day. But just when CAHS thought they had the momentum on their side, another timely turnover allowed the Tigers to maintain their advantage.
In the final minutes of the game, Gerard hit crucial shots, including a three-pointer while being fouled. He also hit the free throw and tied the game at 48 with 1:50 left in the game. Country Day scored on their next possession. Reflecting the trend of the first half, CAHS turned over the ball and faced a four-point deficit with less than a minute to play.
After Gerard hit two foul-shots, CAHS' Walters tied the game at 52 with 15 seconds left. A late traveling call on Country Day set CAHS up for a chance to win the game with 6.2 seconds left. But another turnover by Country Day took the chance of victory away, pushing the game into overtime.
Both teams started the overtime at a frantic pace. With two minutes to go and the score tied at 54, CAHS' Miller made back-to-back shots, pushing the Chickenhawks' lead to four.
A layup with 16 seconds left made the score 60-56 in favor of the Chickenhawks. With seven seconds left, Country Day's O'Reilly hit a jump shot to make a two-point game.
CAHS tried to inbound the ball but turned it over on the catch, giving Country Day possession with 2.8 seconds left. Nelthrop tried to throw up a desperation three-pointer but the shot fell short, clinching the win for CAHS.
CAHS coach Pedrito Estrill described the game as "extremely tight all the way through."
"In the first half, Country Day was playing better than us; they executed well," he said. "We played poorly; we had a lot of defensive breakdowns, turnovers and easy missed layups. But in the second half, we changed the defense … and that bothered them some, and we were able to get our game back to what we are accustomed to playing."
CAHS also went into overtime during Sunday's game against St. Croix Central High School, Estrill noted.
"We came out victorious twice," he said. "And I would like to tip my hat to both Central and Charlotte Amalie — they played us hard, and were well coached. There was a lot of sportsmanship and camaraderie displayed on the court today."
Country Day Coach Lenny Redwine also applauded his opponents, saying that CAHS was one of the "top teams in the tournament." But Redwine also expressed displeasure with calls made by referees.
"Everybody played good," he said. "And I'm not taking anything away from Charlotte Amalie — they played really, really well, and I tip my hat to them. I don't want to put a damper on the tournament, but honestly, the refs are never supposed to decide the game."
Leading scorers for CAHS were Gerard with 22 points and Byron with 14 points.
For Country Day, Nelthropp and O'Reilly both had 18 points.
Gerard was also named MVP for the boys' tournament, while O'Reilly earned the tournament's sportsmanship award.
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