Rupert’s pair of late FT’s lead Commodores to region final

by Cameron Deloatch, i64sports

The third and final matchup between Maury Commodores and Norview Pilots went like the previous two. Norview had lost the first matchups by a combined six points, but this time a state tournament berth was on the line.

To start the game, Norview wing Jahn Hines came out hot, scoring nine points in the first. The Pilots were in control of the game on both ends, as Maury struggled to get good looks on the perimeter or inside.

At the end of the first quarter, the Pilots led 16-9. In the second quarter the points began to come a lot easier for Maury Commodores, getting out in transition before Norview could set up in their 2-3 zone. But the teams were still tied at 29 to close the half.

In the second half, Norview started to gain some momentum, especially after Terry Gray Jr. flushed a two-hand slam in traffic. In the fourth quarter, the Pilots took a late le after a three-point play from Jamaal Madison with less than a minute left in the game.

Maury’s Clarence Rupert split a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession, but Maury still trailed by one. Gray Jr. was fouled but missed the front end of a one-and-one and Maury gained possession with a chance to win.

Chase Coleman inbounded the ball to Rupert, who was fouled on the shot attempt. Rupert stepped to the line this time and knocked down both to give the Commodores a one-point lead with 2.0 remaining. A half-court heave didn’t go in this time for the Pilots and Maury escaped with a 52-51 victory to advance to the 5A regional final, and a bid to the state championship.

Maury was led by Bryan Phillips who had a team-high 12 points. Rupert finished with seven points and nine rebounds. Hines had a game-high 18 points for Norview.

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