Davis Beats the Buzzer to Send Glasgow to MSHSAA Class 1 Boys Final Four

by Nathan Gerdts | Posted on Monday, March 7th, 2016

If you don’t know who Lorenzo Charles is, educate yourself. But if you do remember Charles’ thunderous putback dunk to help North Carolina State upset Houston in the 1983 national championship game, then you will understand what is meant by saying that Glasgow junior forward Kennedy Davis pulled a Lorenzo Charles.

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With the clock spinning down Saturday night in Salisbury and the Yellow Jackets tied with Mercer at 47 in a MSHAA Class 1 State quarterfinal, Davis caught a half-court heave from his teammate Kabyl McMillan that was well short of the basket and tossed the ball up and in at the horn for a dramatic 49-47 win.

“I jumped four feet in the air and just kept thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh,'” Glasgow head coach Mick Cropp said after the game, still cradling the game ball in his arms like a newborn baby. “It was unbelievable.”

Davis scored the first six points of the game to give the Yellow Jackets a 6-3 edge early. However, senior forward Galt Porter started to establish a presence down low for Mercer, and his five points helped the Cardinals go on a 7-2 run to lead 10-8 at the end of the first quarter.

Senior guard Bryant Hubbard scored five points to keep Glasgow afloat, but Mercer got five points from its senior guard Trey Wilson and a three-pointer from junior point guard Bryer Noe as time expired in the first half to give the Cardinals a 22-19 advantage at intermission.

Hubbard, named the Most Valuble Player of the Central Activities Conference last week by CAC coaches. came out of the halftime locker room like a house of fire, knocking down three shots and scoring nine points total in the third quarter. McMillan splashed home a pair of triples to put Glasgow on top 37-34 after three quarters.

“Bryant shot the ball tremendously for us tonight,” Cropp said afterwards. “His play in the third quarter was huge for us.”

Four quick points from Porter put Mercer back on top 38-37 early in the final period, but McMillan came right back with his third trey to push the Yellow Jackets ahead by two. Hubbard and Adam Monnig each scored to advance the lead to 44-40 with just over two minutes to play.

Noe took matters into his own hands for the Cardinals, knocking down a rainbow three from the wing off the bounce to pull Mercer back within one, then drove past the defense on the next possession for a go-ahead layup. Davis muscled past defenders in the paint on the ensuing Glasgow possession to score and also was fouled. He knocked down the free throw for a 47-45 lead with under 50 seconds left.

“I told the kids in the [ensuing] timeout that if [Mercer] ties it, we’re not gonna call timeout,” Cropp said of his final words in the huddle. “It’s what we’ve done all year.”

Noe came down court for the Cardinals and called for a clear-out. He attacked the right side of the paint and hit a running fadeaway jumper with seven seconds left that tied the game at 47. McMillan saw no one else open and threw up a prayer at mid-court. While everyone else watched the shot, Davis saw it was going to fall short, caught the airball, and in one swift motion threw the ball up and into the basket right before the final buzzer sounded.

“He’s improved so much,” Cropp said of Davis. “We really turned a corner when he started to play well this summer.”

Hubbard led the Yellow Jackets as he has all season with 18 points. Davis scored 14, and McMillan scored all nine of his points in the second half.

Noe paced Mercer with 13 points. Porter added nine for the Cardinals, which end the season with a mark of 23-5.

Glasgow improves to 26-3 with the victory. The Yellow Jackets have not lost since late January and will advance to the MSHAA Class 1 State Championships on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, the fourth such appearance in the Final Four for Glasgow under Cropp and the first since 2012, when the Yellow Jackets fell in the state semifinals to eventual champion Scott County Central. Glasgow lost last year in the state quarterfinals to eventual champion Meadville 50-47.

The Yellow Jackets are slated to play undefeated Stanberry in the semifinals Thursday night at the Hearnes Center. Tip time is set for 8:20 p.m.

“I knew we had a pretty good team during the summer,” Cropp said of reaching the state championships once again. “The guys never stopped working hard, and I’m so incredibly proud of this group.”

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