No call: Brentsville squeaks by Clarke County in final minute 52-48
NOKESVILLE – Call it the foul that wasn’t.
Down 48-46 with only three team fouls and just 1:08 left in the game,
Brentsville coach Doug Poppe told his team to foul, immediately.
Tigers guard Chris Jenkins was apparently following orders as he reached
and grabbed at Clarke County point guard Matt Huff up the court.
However, no call was made and the senior turned the ball over with 1:02
left after attempting to dribble by the repeated foul attempts when Huff
tripped over Jenkins’ outstretched knee near midcourt and the ball flew
out of bounds.
The no call by the official riled up Eagles coach Brent Emmart, who
was called for a technical.
Jenkins calmly hit both free throws to tie the game with 59 seconds
On the Tigers’ ensuing possession, Jenkins drove the middle and lost
control of the ball to Eagles’ forward James Willis. However, Willis dropped
the ball back to Jenkins who wildly missed a shot.
The ball then hit Tiger Charles Van Otten’s hands, and the forward laid
the ball in for the go-ahead basket with 30 ticks on the clock.
Brentsville (13-5, 9-1 Bull Run District) sealed the game when Jenkins
got a steal on the inbounds pass and made a layup and the final margin –
Tigers guard Brian Owen then got another in-bounds steal to as the clock
Poppe said his plan was definitely to get some quick team fouls to get
the team in the bonus.
“There was 1:08 left to go and we had something where we wanted
to stop them, get it to the one-and-one,” Poppe said. “Fortune
just smiled our way. If the player stops and gets the foul by Jenkins who
knows? Anything can happen.”
Emmart said his team played well enough to win, and certainly didn’t
lose the game.
“[Poppe] point blank told me they wanted to foul,” Emmart
said. “They reached twice and forced [Huff] out of bounds and didn’t
get the call.
“I apologized to the kids. I did protest the call and I don’t know
if I deserved [a technical]. We should have won this game. But the refs
decided the ball game.”
Huff said the game gives Clarke County (10-8, 6-4) confidence to take
on the Tigers again come district tournament time.
“We know we can beat them,” he said. “They fouled me
twice, tripped me and the ref didn’t make the call.
“I thought we played a good game. Thought we won it. We definitely
didn’t lose it.”
Brentsville came out showing a lot of rust, Poppe said. The Tigers hadn’t
taken the floor since a 61-40 win over Strasburg a week ago.
Brentsville came out shooting, but seemed to be more intent on building
a house of bricks than winning a basketball game.
The Tigers hit just 3-of-15 shots in the first quarter, including a
1-of-6 effort by Jenkins. The result was a 9-9 deadlock after eight minutes.
In the second quarter, Brentsville came to life a bit. At least defensively.
The Tigers held the Eagles to just one field goal in the first 6:06
of the quarter, building a 20-13 cushion after Jenkins hit a 3-pointer.
That’s when Huff took things into his own hands.
The 5-foot-9 guard scored two consecutive 3s to cut the gap to 20-19.
Huff, who finished the game with a team-high 19 points, said he needed
to step up with the Tigers defense clamping down on Eagles’ top-point man
Damien Hubbard (seven points).
“I’ve always been able to hit those shots,” he said. “I
got the feeling tonight and hit them.”
Much of the defensive responsibility for guarding Hubbard, fell on the
shoulders of Brentsville’s Joe Lavely.
Lavely, who didn’t score a point on the night, did block two of Hubbard’s
shots and had four rebounds.
Poppe said he knew the junior could handle the assignment.
“Joe Lavely is hands down the best defensive player in this district,”
Poppe said. “He is going to bother anyone we put him on.”
Clarke County got the lead early in the third quarter. A 9-2 run turned
a 25-23 Brentsville advantage to a 32-27 Eagles’ lead with 1:01 left.
Eventually the lead would grow to 40-32 Eagles after guard Derek Underwood
hit a 3-pointer with 6:07 left.
Brentsville would turn up the defense, forcing six Eagle turnovers in
the quarter, compared to just two Tiger giveaways. The ensuing 7-0 run cut
the lead to one.
Jenkins led all scorers with 25 points on 5-of-18 shooting. Van Otten
added 10 points and nine rebounds, while Lavely had 11 points.