Brentwood point guard Darius Garland scored 29 points Friday night to show off his McDonald’s All-America skills, but shared the spotlight with teammates Devyn Curtis and Cam Johnson as the Eagles fought off Baylor, 61-59, in a thrilling Division II-2A prep basketball game at nearly packed Jimmy Duke Arena.
Baylor defeated Brentwood Academy, 70-68, in overtime on Jan.
19, and standout Patrick Urey hit the game-winning bucket. Urey sat out Friday’s game with torn ligaments in his left ankle and is likely to miss the remainder of the season.
“They knew we’d come in with a lot of fight after they beat us at home with a buzzer-beater in overtime,” said Garland, rated as the No. 1 point guard in America who has helped the Eagles win three straight state championships. “We just had enough fight tonight.”
Garland, the state’s No. 1-ranked player who has signed with Vanderbilt, gave the Eagles a go-ahead basket with 3:08 left in regulation. Baylor’s Lorenzo White, who sparked the Red Raiders with 21 points, hit two free throws, tying the game 55-55 and sending it into overtime.
“Lorenzo played super,” Baylor coach Austin Clark said. “He got down on the floor, got after the ball and made some plays.”
Said Hubie Smith, Brentwood’s coach: ““I felt like coming into the year they were our biggest competition, to be honest,” Brentwood coach Hubie Smith said. “They’re really good and our matchups aren’t great against them. I think we’ll play again this season (in the postseason).
“And Lorenzo (he led Baylor with 21 points, 12 in the first half) had a great game, probably the best game of his career. He scored way more points than usual and was terrific.”
The Red Raiders’ Randy Brady made a layup 29 seconds into the extra period and that lead lasted 26 seconds before Garland bumped an inbounds pass off a Baylor player’s back, caught it in mid-air and dropped in a tying layup.
Curtis then made a bucket off a Johnson assist. After an errant shot by Brady, Johnson’s layup gave the Eagles (16-5, 7-1 and ranked No. 5 in the state by MaxPreps) a 61-57 lead with 1:54 remaining.
The Raiders’ Tre Jackson tipped in an off-the-mark shot in close with 1:22 showing, pulling Baylor to within two points.
Garland put up a wild off-balance bank shot high off the glass and players scrambled for the loose ball. Officials called a jump ball and Brentwood Academy got possession. Killing the clock at mid-court, Garland was slapped with a five-second call, turning the ball over to No. 21 Baylor (13-6, 7-3).
With under a second left, the Raiders’ Boris Ristanovic put up a desperation 3-point shot for the win, but the ball ricocheted off the rim and fell to the court.
“I’m really proud of my guys’ effort,” Clark said. “We had some chances to win the game. We got a little anxious, but that’s the competitive spirit in them and they’re trying to win and I can’t take that away from them.”
The Eagles, gunning for their fourth straight state title, scored the game’s first seven points and had a 14-5 lead going into the second quarter, and Garland scored nine straight points in one stretch.
With Garland, going for his third straight Mr. Basketball award this season, adding seven more points in the second period, the Eagles were able to withstand Baylor’s offensive resurgence and had a 33-26 halftime margin.
Baylor opened the third quarter with a 12-7 run and climbed to within 40-38. Garland made two free throws. White knocked down a 3 from the left corner and tipped in a teammate’s miss to give the Red Raiders their first lead with 1:33 left in the quarter.
The lead lasted 21 seconds, with Garland with a lightning-quick spin move and dash to the rim for a layup. He drained a 3 with 3.5 seconds left and the Eagles had a 47-43 spread going into the fourth.
“He’s a heck of a player,” said Clark, referring to Garland.
In the final period, Baylor’s Nico Simpkins’ drove the baseline for a layup, converted the ensuing free throw and the Raiders had their second lead at 48-47. It lasted 32 seconds with Brentwood’s Kam Lyons’ 3 wiping it out.
Beyaun Hendricks, who finished with 11 points, hit a 22-foot 3 to give Baylor a 51-50 lead and Brady’s layup pushed the lead to 53-50. Lyons’ second 3 in the quarter knotted the score again. Garland dropped lane floater on the Raiders and two White free throws tied the game again.
Neither team scored in the final 2:44 of the period.
Clark used his patented 2-3 zone defense probably more than the usual man-to-man he’s deployed most of the season, but Smith thought he had his players prepared for the switch.
“They didn’t play it (zone) one time that last time we played them,” he said. “We did work on it all week though. Our seniors made some uncharacteristic, dumb decisions down the stretch. I’ll leave it at that.”
In the earlier girls’ game, Brentwood Academy won 54-41as Sydni Harvey poured in 27 points, with 14 coming in the second half. Cheyenne Lindsey led Baylor with 13 points.
Brentwood Academy 14 19 14 8 6 – 61
Baylor 21 17 12 4 – 59
Brentwood Academy (61) – Davis, Lyons 9, Darius Garland 29, Werts, Archie 5, Conklin, Johnson 9, Reynolds 2, Green 3, Fuller 2, Curtis 2, Clifton.
Baylor (59) – Pruitt, Jackson 8, Beyaun Hendricks 11, Ristanovic 7, Lorenzo White 21, Brady 8, Pippenger, Simpkins 4.
3-Point Goals – Brentwood Academy 9 (Lyons 3, Garland 3, Archie 1, Johnson 1, Green 1), Baylor 5 (Jackson 2, White 2, Hendricks 1).
Brentwood Academy 20 7 16 11– 54
Baylor 14 12 9 6 – 41
Brentwood Academy (54) – Sydni Harvey 27, Ma. Brown, Stockhoff, Mi. Brown 1, Makaila Wilson 16, Bussard, Schoenwald 1, Kovick 7, Searcy 2.
Baylor (41) – Willis 8, Cheyenne Lindsey 13, Martin 5, Barton 3, Conley 3, Redman 4, Gordon 5, Weller, McKnight.
3-Point Goals – Brentwood Academy 2 (Harvey 2), Baylor 3 (Willis 1, Barton 1, Gordon 1).
(Contact Larry Fleming at email@example.com and on Twitter @larryfleming44)