The Deerfield-Windsor Knights (6-10) had their chances Tuesday night, but fell just short in a region battle with Brookwood by a 45-43 score. With 8.8 seconds left on the clock, Knights head coach Bill Cefaratti called time and huddled with his team. The Knights were down by three points, but if there is one thing the Knights can do, it is hit a three-point shot.
Cefaratti set up a play for sophomore guard Andrew Sceals who routinely drills shots from beyond the arch, but Brookwood’s defense was all over Sceals as he threw the ball toward the basket and missed, but with 0.2 remaining the whistle sounded and Brookwood was charged with a foul on Sceals. Sceals went to the line for three shots – he made the first one, then missed the second. Cefaratti still encouraged his team to bank in the rebound to tie the game, but Brookwood pulled down the rebound and the final horn sounded.
That wasn’t the only chance the Knights had. Down 45-42 they had three other chances for points as well but missed shots or turned the ball over and the Warriors held on for their second region win of the season.
“These young guys are getting better every game, I am so proud of our growth,” said Cefaratti. “Top to bottom we improve every night. We just didn’t capitalize on a few things.”
The Knights started out with a 5-0 lead, but Brookwood went on a 7-2 run to tie the game midway through the first quarter. The Knights ended up taking a 13-11 lead at end of the first quarter. A couple of minutes into the second quarter Jackson Harris drilled a three-pointer from the corner to put the Knights up 19-13 and then held onto the lead at the half after back to back shots from Will Gray. The Knights held a 24-21 advantage at the half.
The two teams continued the back and forth in the third period, both teams playing a tight defense that created turnovers. Brookwood’s zone defense kept the Knights from getting into the paint for easy points but was also on top of the outside shooters so the Knights couldn’t launch their three-point attach effectively.
“Brookwood didn’t have a answer so they threw every defense they had at us,” said Cefaratti. “Everyone who touched the floor contributed and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
With Deerfield-Windsor up 35-34 at the end of the third, Brookwood got hot and made their first four shots of the fourth quarter and led 43-39 before Smith Flynn swished a three to bring the score to 43-42. The Warriors scored a basket to put Brookwood up 45-42, but the Knights were still battling.
Senior Zai Drye drove into the lane and banked a shot into the basket as the whistle sounded for a foul. However, the official ruled the foul took place before Drye shot the ball, so the basket didn’t count and Drye didn’t get a chance to shoot free throws, instead the Knights were given possession of the ball. The Warriors stole the ball on the inbounds play and that chance was another one of the missed chances for the Knights.
Smith Flynn led the balanced scoring attack for the Knights with 10 points. Jackson Harris added nine and Zai Drye put in seven.
The Knights will travel to Americus Thursday for another region contest against Southland and then to Perry to take on Westfield Saturday night.