CLASS 4A, REGION 2 BOYS SEMIFINAL
Red Devils deliver regional final berth
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 12:22 a.m.
WILLISTON — Williston could have very easily walked into Tuesday night's Class 4A, Region 2 quarterfinal basketball game not respecting its opponent. Familiarity doesn't breed contempt though when Coach Steve Faulkner's squad takes the court against the Fort White Indians.
In their fourth meeting of the season, the Red Devils knocked off the Indians 72-68 to advance to their sixth consecutive regional final. Four Williston players posted double-digit scoring totals, including a game-high 24 points from junior Earl Brown.
“It never gets old,” Faulkner said of advancing to yet another regional final.
In the beginning of the fourth, it looked like the Indians were ready to turn the tables on the District 5-4A champions.
Trailing 57-49 after Williston's David Heinkel hit a 3-pointer, the Indians went on a 12-0 run. Jalen Wyche had five of Fort White's points in the run, including a 3 that gave the Indians a 61-57 with 4:25 left.
The Red Devils' size and clutch free-throw shooting quickly turned the game around though. Brown cut the Indians led to one with a three-point play. It was followed by a bucket from Wyche, who finished with a team high 19 points, giving Fort White a 63-60 lead. After Tre Wilson hit one of two foul shots, Fort White coach Isiah Phillips called timeout with three minutes left and a 63-61 lead. That would be the last time the Indians would hold the lead.
An 8-0 run by Williston started with a Brown put-back, then a Wilson layup followed by four consecutive made free throws by Wilson and Alex Porter gave the Red Devils a 69-63 lead. Wilson (4-of-6), Porter (4-of-4) and Brown (1-of-1) were 9-for-12 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
“We are a free-throw shooting team,” Brown said. “It helps a lot that Alex and Tre not only keeps us in the game by making their free throws but win the game for us.”
“It's funny,” Faulkner said. “When we won the district tournament, we were 19-of-45 over two days. How we won, I don't know. Late in the fourth quarter we made free throws and that is why we are going to the regional finals.”
Fort White's Melton Sanders, who averaged 27 points against Williston this year, was held in check by Heinkel, scoring 14.
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