Bartow Buzzes Lake Wales With Last-Second Shot, 68-66
Sat. January 05, 2013 at 2:00 a.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
Bartow's Kerry Jones goes up for a shot as Lake Wales' J'Quayveon Williams defends. (Photo by RICK RUNION | THE LEDGER)
BY BILL KEMP
LEDGER MEDIA GROUP
BARTOW | There wasn't a dull moment in this one. And it ended in complete bedlam.
Bartow junior guard Derrick Brooks took an in-bounds pass with three seconds left in a 66-66 tie, took two dribbles towards the key and then canned a 15-foot jumper at the buzzer to give the Yellow Jackets a stunning 68-66 win over Lake Wales on Friday.
Most of the sellout crowd of more than 2,300 fans stormed the court as Brooks was mobbed and stunned at what he said was the biggest head rush in his life.
"It was," Brooks said. "I was just trying to get to the basket and get fouled."
Bartow High School was so jammed pack there were no parking spots available 30 minutes before game time. More than 300-plus fans were turned away at the door waiting to get in after the gym reached capacity. Most of them stood outside and waited through the entire game.
"It's Bartow-Lake Wales," Bartow head coach Terrance McGriff said. "Even if they (Lake Wales) were not the state champs, it's still Bartow-Lake Wales. This is the best rivalry in Polk County in any sport. I know, and I went to Kathleen."
Brooks finished with 14 points and teammate Chris Perry delivered 16 more for Bartow in a high-energy game that swung back-and-forth.
Five minutes after the win. McGriff said his heart was still in his stomach while jubilant fans danced on the court.
"Yes it is, way down (in my stomach). (I'm) just very thankful. I'm thankful to the kids and I'm thankful to the Lord. I'm just very thankful," McGriff said.
With the non-district win the Yellow Jackets are off to a 12-2 start.
"Now we have seven district games in a row and we have to be ready to play in those," McGriff said.
Lake Wales was led by Douglas Brooks' 23 points and three 3-pointers. J'Quayveon Williams added 16 and Marcus Dewberry 12 for the Highlanders.
LAKE WALES (66): Davion Riley 2, Douglas Brooks 23, Shaquille Snell 3, Dedric Brinson 2, Savonte' Frazier 8, David Campbell 2, J'Quayveon Williams 16, Marcus Dewberry 12. Totals: 20, 20-31, 66
BARTOW (68): Derrick Brooks 14, Kerry Jones 6, Ricky Williams 5, Vontarius West 6, Karlos Odum 10, Quincy Childs 9, Chris Perry 16, Darius Jackson 2. Totals: 22, 21-28, 68
Lake Wales 14 18 15 19 — 66
Bartow 15 17 20 16 — 68
Records: Lake Wales 7-5, Bartow 12-2.