RALEIGH — Whether it was because of injuries or slow-forming chemistry, it took some time for Holly Springs’ boys basketball team to get going this year.
And the team used its final game of the Wakefield Doubleheaders, a two-day, round-robin tournament, to continue the “learning how to win” process.
After losing to Wakefield – for the third time this season – in their tournament opener, the Golden Hawks prevailed in overtime against Wake Forest, 78-73.
“We were missing some guys early in the season,” Holly Springs coach Thurman Jordan said. “We had difficulty trying to establish the lineup. We had a lot of new faces on the team from last year, so we knew it was going to take some time for it to come together.”
With 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Golden Hawks (4-8) led by two points with the ball at the free throw line.
Shaquille Wilson, who had not played before the fourth quarter, made one of two free throws. Holly Springs used its fouls, whittling the clock down to 3.9 seconds.
But Wake Forest’s Diantre’ James was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 0.9 seconds left, and he made all three for the Cougars (4-7).
Despite all that, the Hawks came back to win for the fourth time in the last five games – not bad after an 0-7 start.
“We were trying to find our chemistry,” said Lamar Nobles, who played last year at Word of God and the year before at Athens Drive. “I guess it’s working out now.”
Nobles had 19 points, 13 of them in the first half when Holly Springs led 29-25.
Senior point guard Craig McDaniel had 17 points, seven rebounds and nine assists. Sophomore Ryan Blount came off the bench and had a team-high 19 points, including four 3-pointers.
“I was feeling it coming in,” Blount said. “We think we can change our record around and finish up on top.”
Blake: 919-460-2606; Twitter: @JMBpreps