MOUNT AIRY – Lincoln Charter overcame a 23-point first-half deficit to upset North Surry in overtime on Saturday.
Xavier Crawford and Kelan Flowers combined for 53 points to lead the No. 8 Eagles over the No. 1 Greyhounds on Feb. 25. Flowers scored 19 of his 26 points across the fourth quarter and overtime to lead the Eagles to the 85-82 OT victory.
The Eagles never led in the second, third or fourth quarters as they battled back from a double-digit deficit. A 5-1 run from Lincoln Charter during the final 52 seconds of regulation sent the game to overtime, during which Lincoln took the lead and never trailed.
Lincoln Charter wins its 17th consecutive game to improve to 24-11 on the season. North Surry’s season ends at 27-2.
The Eagles led 7-5 in the first quarter before the home Greyhounds scored 30 of the game’s next 35 points. Lincoln Charter began a steady comeback through the remainder of regulation, with Flowers scoring 13 of his 26 in just the fourth quarter.
A 3-pointer from Joseph Bruce tied the score at 59 with 4:45 left in the fourth quarter, marking the game’s first tie since 7-7. Elijah Burnett, who recorded a 13-point, 11-assist double-double for the Eagles, assisted on Bruce’s triple.
The Eagles missed their chance to score and match Lynch’s drive, but a steal from Crawford set the senior up with an easy layup in transition. Watson missed for the Hounds on the other end, which allowed Burnett to find Flowers open the lane and cut the lead to 71-70. Crawford scored the game-tying layup with 4.5 seconds to play, after which North used its final timeout of regulation. Crawford stole the inbounds pass and heaved up a 3-point shot at the buzzer that landed off target.
Lincoln Charter won the tip in overtime and held possession for nearly 90 seconds. Flowers scored a floater for the visitors, but McCreary – a 74% free throw shooter this season – went to the line for the double bonus, making 1 of 2. Flowers hit two more free throws to extend the lead to four. North’s Cam Taylor responded with a 3-pointer, before Crawford went 2-for-2 from the line.
Bruce hit a jump shot to make it 80-76, then the Eagles turned a missed 3-pointer from the Hounds into two more free throws after grabbing the defensive rebound.
Lincoln Charter finished plus-11 on the boards in the Saturday’s game. McKnight hit a 3-pointer to make it 82-79, then Burnett went 1-of-2 from the line. North turned the ball over with less than 30 seconds on the clock, but Flowers missed both his double bonus shots the next time down. Taylor rebounded for North Surry and set Jackson Smith up for a 3-pointer with five seconds to play.
The Eagles let the clock run down before inbounding to Flowers, who was fouled with 0.2 seconds left to play. The senior scored his 25th and 26th points to put the game on ice.
Crawford scored a game-high 27 points and led his team in steals with five. Lincoln Charter advances to the Elite Eight and will travel to No. 4 East Gaston (25-2) on Feb. 28. So far in the playoffs, East Gaston has defeated: No. 29 West Wilkes 85-61, No. 13 T.W. Andrews 74-51 and No. 5 Hendersonville 58-40.
LCS 9 24 17 22 13—85
N. Surry 22 19 13 18 10—82
LCS: Xavier Crawford 27, Kelan Flowers 26, Elijah Burnett 13, Joe Bruce 13, Reed 4, Hudson 2.
NS: James McCreary 25, Kolby Watson 19, Jahreece Lynch 19, Kam McKnight 10, Smith 5, Taylor 4.
(Published March 1, 2023)
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