Roxboro Community School entered its matchup against Bartlett Yancey fresh off the heels of a last-second loss to Vance Charter School in its last game.
Bryson Pleasant made sure the Bulldogs didn’t suffer the same fate Wednesday night against Bartlett Yancey. The senior forward knocked down his buzzer-beating jumper from the left side, lifting Roxboro Community to a thrilling 60-58 victory over BY.
Roxboro Community (5-8) grabbed a defensive board after a missed BY (3-4) layup attempt in the paint. The Bulldogs got the ball into the hands of Pleasant who pulled up for a shot that knocked around the rim a bit before falling through, sending his guys onto the court in celebration.
The two teams proved basketball is a game of swings as they traded leads like they were bartering. With Roxboro Community ahead by one, senior point guard Nasir Coles swiped the ball in the Buccaneers’ front court and raced towards the paint but senior point guard Ricky Lipscomb returned the favor, picking up a huge steal. Lipscomb followed his effort with a drive to the paint and layup attempt, drawing a foul in the process. He knocked down the back end of his free throw attempt, tying the score at 58-all entering the final seconds.
Pleasant took over from there, knocking down the eventual game-winner.
The final three minutes proved as dramatic as a telenovela. Stokes knotted the score at 49 when he took a feed from senior forward JR Paylor and banked in his shot with 3:34 remaining in the game. Junior forward Miles Jefferson pushed the Bucs back in front with his layup but senior guard Jalen Bailey answered on the other end. Khalil Clay made it a 55-53 ballgame with his jumper but a pair of Stokes free throws once again knotted the score. BY senior forward Trevares Womack and Pleasant traded baskets, keeping the theme.
BY’s final lead of the contest came on Lipscomb’s layup with a little over a minute remaining. The Bulldogs took over from there, finishing off the game with a 5-1 run to score the victory.
“It’s a blessing because it’s an opportunity to keep working hard,” said junior forward Ahmad Byrd when asked the benefits of such an emotional game.
Byrd also viewed the game as another opportunity to learn as the Bucs near the midway point of the season.
“Keep working harder and all those mistakes in practice we need to fix so we can keep going and being successful in the long run,” Byrd said.
Clay scored a game-high 25 points for BY. Jefferson and Lipscomb each added 11, giving the Bucs three players in double-digit scoring.
The Bulldogs were paced by Stokes’ 21 points while Bailey chipped in with 16.
BY entered the second half fired up and it showed early on in the third. Clay started the period with a layup that gave the Bucs a nine-point lead and junior shooting guard/wing followed with a layup of his own off a pass from Clay, making it a 36-25 contest with six minutes remaining in the frame.
The Bucs caught a cool hand from there however and the Bulldogs took advantage, stringing together an 11-0 run to take the lead. Stokes kicked things off with his 3-pointer from the far side and Bailey got the deficit down to six with his jumper at the 4:53 mark. Paylor converted a three-point play thanks to a layup and his made free throw attempt in the same possession. Bailey and Pleasant knotted the score at 36 with their respective free throws and layups and the Bulldogs went ahead on senior guard Mack Warren’s jumper with 1:50 left in the third.
The dramatics continued into the fourth as the two sides continued to trade leads. Clay kicked off the furious fourth with his trey that pushed the Bucs’ lead to 44-42 with 7:10 left in the game. Lipscomb knocked down a pair of free throws to push BY’s lead to four with just over six minutes left in the contest. Once again though, the Bulldogs rallied back, tying the score at 49 with his jumper at the 3:58 mark.
Lipscomb gave the Bucs their last lead of the game, 57-55, when he knocked down his layup with 1:20 left on the clock. From there, the Bulldogs scored five of the game’s final six points to seal the victory.
“Staying focused and listening to coach,” Byrd said after being asked the keys to responding in such contests.
BY takes the court again Friday night when it travels to Elon for a non-conference matchup against Western Alamance at 7:30 p.m.