Independence guards Marcus Graves and Tayon Gleaves combined for 28 fourth-quarter points as the Patriots rallied from an 11-point deficit with 6:30 left and defeated Davie County 74-66 in a 4A second-round playoff game Wednesday night.
Third-seeded Independence (24-5) led 3-2 but trailed from that point until the fourth quarter. Davie County (21-6) led 32-29 at the break, then after an Independence basket to open the third, the War Eagles went on an 11-0 run. That run was highlighted by an alley-oop dunk by N.C. State recruit Cody Martin.
Martin opened the fourth quarter with four points to give Davie County a 53-42 lead at the 6:39 mark, causing Independence coach Preston Davis to call a timeout. But that’s when Independence rallied. Graves’ free throw cut the lead to 10, then Gleaves hit two three-pointers 46 seconds apart, followed 45 seconds later by a Graves three to cut the lead to 53-52 with 4:17 left.
Graves then made a steal and drove for a layup at the 4-minute mark to give the Patriots their first lead, 54-53, since the game was 90 seconds old.
“We have good guards who are confident in their ability,” Independence coach Preston Davis said. “They aren’t flashy, but they do what they do really well, and Tayon and Marcus really were the spark.”
Independence held Davie County without a field goal for over six minutes in the fourth; Davie County’s only four points in that stretch were four free throws. Davie County trailed 60-57 with two minutes left and had the ball when Graves made another steal, drove and hit a layup plus a foul with 1:51 left. After the free throw, the lead was 63-57, and Davie County would get no closer.
“The biggest thing is we stayed within ourselves and never wavered,” Davis said. “I told them during the timeout that we just needed to get stops, one at a time. That’s a real good Davie County team and I’m proud of our kids for what they did.”
Gleaves scored 22 and Graves 21 to lead Independence, which will travel to second-seeded Mount Tabor for a third-round game. Davie County was led by Austin Hatfield’s 18 points, and Martin had 15.