LUMBERTON — The Robeson County Shootout began in 1986 as an opportunity for small schools to play against the big boys.
How fitting that 25 years later, a 2A sleeper just inside the state line took out one of the top 4A teams in the region.
Juwan Addison and Desmond Parker raised the 25th annual Shootout
championship trophy high into the air at midcourt seconds after the
Golden Tornadoes finished off their 72-64 upset of Terry Sanford Monday
night at Lumberton.
The two seniors combined for 38 points to
stave off a 27-point, 20-rebound effort from Bulldogs' forward Brandon
Brown. The Golden Tornadoes ended the game on a 9-4 run in the final
1:11, triggered by a dunk and layup from Dalvin Whittington.
of our players really stepped it up tonight against a great team,"
Fairmont coach Michael Baker said. "You had two really good basketball
teams going at it. They were undefeated. We were undefeated. The fans
really got their money's worth."
In a virtual home game with a
standing-room only crowd on their side, the Golden Tornadoes sent the
Bulldogs to their first regular-season loss since Dec. 30, 2008 — a span
of 39 games. Fairmont (7-0) trailed 29-28 at intermission despite
leading by as many as nine in the first half.
"I told our guys to
settle down and run our offense," Baker said after claiming his fourth
Shootout title as coach. "I thought we settled for too many outside
shots in the first half and got out of what we wanted to do. We came
back out, relaxed, and executed our offense perfectly."
Smith broke a 49-all tie with a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the
4:59 mark of the fourth quarter and Fairmont never trailed again.
can play some basketball in Robeson County," Baker said. "There's a lot
of good teams here. This win definitely ranks up there with the
greatest I've ever been a part of."
Addison finished with a
team-high 21 points, giving him an average of 22 points per contest over
his team's three tournament games. For his efforts, Addison was voted
the Shootout's Most Valuable Player, a season after seeing his cousin,
Glenn Patterson Jr., win the award as Red Springs' standout scorer.
joins an elite group of Fairmont guards to garner the honor, including
Johnny Thompson, Robert McKinnis and Demorris Winningham.
you beat a two-time, 4A East defending champion, you know you can play
at a competitive level," Addison said. "This was our game. We just had
to make sure to go out there and win it.
"It's only one game. There's a whole conference season and playoffs left. Our goal is a championship. We're not done yet."
Sanford (7-1) fought back from an early 15-6 deficit with a hounding
halfcourt defense and points in the paint from Brown, an all-tournament
Point guard Chris Wilson, who came into Monday's title
game averaging 15 points per game in the tournament, was held to 11
after playing just 20 minutes due to foul trouble. Wilson was whistled
for his fourth foul with 1:58 to play in the third quarter and the
Bulldogs trailing 39-38. Over the final two minutes of the quarter,
Fairmont went on a 6-0 run to lead 45-38 heading into the final frame.
Wilson on the bench, Terry Sanford tied the game at 49 with 5:15
remaining before Smith's shot from long distance have Fairmont the lead
"I am sure (the fouls) got to him a little bit and it
made him play less aggressive than he normally does," Terry Sanford
coach Bill Boyette said. "I thought we did a great job with him on the
bench though. The players did the job for him and I thought we picked it
up tremendously when he was out of the game. That's the first time we
had to do that this year and I think that we responded very well.”