NEWBERRY — After seeing three consecutive teams from South Carolina go down in defeat in the opening round of the Dorman High Classic on Friday, the several thousand fans in attendance were hoping that the Newberry High School varsity boys would break this streak for the Palmetto State in their game against Whitefield Academy out of Atlanta, Ga.
The Wolfpack led throughout the entire game until a Trey Gary dunk with 1:12 left in the third quarter gave the Bulldogs their first lead at 49-47.
Newberry would take a 53-52 advantage into the final eight minutes of play.
With the near-capacity crowd now getting settled in to see games with Gaffney and host Dorman still on the schedule, Jaylen Lindsay gave them just what they were hoping to see during the night with a dunk that gave Newberry a four-point advantage, 63-59, with 2:55 left in the game.
Newberry’s Notorious Booker sank his third and fourth consecutive free throws of the final stanza with 15.6 seconds to give Newberry a 69-66 lead as the Bulldogs called a time-out, knowing they had a foul to play with defensively.
Bennett Wilson fouled with 8.2 seconds but the Wolfpack would drain a three with five seconds to go to tie the score.
The Bulldogs, who had missed their previous eight shots from behind the arc the entire game, put the ball in Wilson’s hands as his just beyond half-court shot hit nothing but net to give Newberry the 72-69 victory, much to the ecstatic delight of his teammates, coaches and nearly everyone in attendance.
Booker was the only player in the game which scored in each of the four quarters as he finished with 20 points.
Gary scored 16, Dominic Gilmore (12), Trey Miller (11) and Wilson had seven.
The Newberry scoring ended with the six points of Lindsay.
After seeing fellow in-state team South Pointe fall into the third place bracket on Saturday afternoon, the Bulldogs were hoping to avoid an all Georgia Bracket 1 championship on Monday evening.
After trailing 2-0, the Bulldogs scored 16 straight points to have the 14 point advantage with 3:56 left in the first quarter.
Newberry would lead by at least one point until it was under a minute left in the game.
With a foul to give with 13.1 seconds, Miller tied it up with two free throws as the game would go into overtime tied at 68 points apiece.
Fayette County, who had knocked off host Dorman on Friday, took a one point lead at 82-81 after two free throws at the 6.5 second mark.
The Bulldogs were unable to get a shot off before the buzzer sounded.
Miller scored in each of the four quarters and overtime to finish with 23 points.
Lindsay and Dominic Gilmore also finished in double digits as they scored 14 and 11 points respectively.
Wilson scored in the first four quarters to end with 12 points.
Booker scored nine while Gary scored seven points.
The Newberry scoring ended with the three points of Devin Harmon and the two points of Raquon Davenport.
Newberry began play Monday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. against South Pointe for the third place championship.