Waddy’s heave lifts Dawson over Pearland, 41-39
Game-winning shots are acceptable in any form, but Lorenzo Waddy certainly wouldn’t have designed the dramatic heave he delivered to Pearland Friday night.
The 6-foot, 8-inch Dawson post, falling backward, almost hit the ground before he released a desperation shot from the lane that banked in with 4.4 seconds left, lifting the Eagles to a 41-39 win over the Oilers in the Pearland gym.
Waddy’s shot came with Dawson trailing, 39-38, and when he grabbed the ball and stumbled backward while being fouled, his low-percentage launch found the mark.
He then made the ensuing free throw for a 41-39 score, leaving Pearland with a final opportunity to tie the game or win it.
The Oilers managed to quickly move the ball into the forecourt, and got a good look at a long-distance trey, but junior guard Alphonso Tyler couldn’t connect, allowing Dawson to escape with the win.
Waddy readily admitted his game-winner isn’t in his repertoire.
“I was nervous when I got it,” Waddy said. “I just looked at the goal, and I threw it up.”
The outcome improved Dawson to 20-8 overall and 7-2 in District 23-6A. With Alief Hastings’ upset of George Ranch Friday night, the Eagles now reclaim first place in the league standings.
“That was an amazing shot to win a game,” Dawson head coach Mark Barre said. “Him falling down…I’ll have to see it on film. For me, it was almost having to look through bodies to see what happened.
“Like every district win, this is enormous. Doing it on the road makes it twice as good.”
For Pearland (18-11, 5-4) the loss was a difficult one to absorb.
The Oilers played an impressive first half, and down 14-12, used an 11-0 run in the final 3:29 of the second quarter to take a 23-14 halftime lead.
Senior guard Ethan Flores canned two 3-pointers for the Oilers and junior D’Antre Boudreaux sank another for Pearland. In addition, Tyler came up with a steal and fed senior guard Lorenzo Charles for a layup as the Oilers built a nine-point cushion by halftime.
However, the considerable momentum Pearland took into halftime quickly disappeared in the third quarter.
The Eagles began the second half with a 9-0 run to tie the game at 23, and from that point on, it was nip-and-tuck.
Oiler head coach Steve Buckelew knew his team couldn’t flinch, and it did in the opening segment of the second half.
“We lost the game in the third quarter with that run,” Buckelew said. “We didn’t hit a three in the second half, either.
“Javon Lowery, our first-team all-district player, had a strained tendon on his right side, and he just couldn’t move out there. We still played good enough to win, but we didn’t get it done.
“If we get the (foul) call on the jump ball…there’s two guys reaching for the ball, and our guy had scratches on his arm. It’s one of those things. It’s a bitter pill. We now have to win another big road game like we did Tuesday night against (Alief) Taylor.”
In the fourth quarter, Pearland led 39-38 after Lowery converted an offensive rebound into a basket with 1:03 left. The Eagles then shot an air-ball with 36 seconds left, returning possession to Pearland.
The Oilers then worked the ball around before Flores was double-teamed and that’s when the jump ball was called instead of a foul with 19 seconds left.
Dawson then worked its offense before the ball found its way into Waddy’s hands for the game-winner.
“In the first half, we weren’t as aggressive as Pearland,” Barre said. “The run in the third quarter was huge.
“To come out and give them a little more pressure…we caused them to shoot some bad shots that worked in our favor. It got us running and attacking.”
Buckelew was obviously disappointed the Oilers couldn’t seal the victory.
“We dominated the first half on both ends,” he said. “But you have to win the game in the second half.”