The game was all that was expected for two teams with identical 4-0 SoMeck 8 4Arecords, meeting each other Friday.
In a game of highs and lows, Berry Academy’s Victor Harris settled it with a layup with three second left as the Cardinals nipped the Ardrey Kell Knights 42-40 at home Friday. With the two teams tied at 40 with a minute left, Ardrey Kell had what they hoped would be the game’s last shot.
They whittled the clock down to eight seconds with a pair of time outs, but Josh Freund’s inbounds pass was stolen by Berry’s Joshua Lancaster. The Cardinals (12-2, 5-0) roared down the court with a three-on-one break and Harris finished the layup for the win.
Berry coach Maurice Jones gave his players specific instructions on the Ardrey Kell throw in, and the Cardinals followed the plan to perfection.
“I basically told our guys don’t get screened, get ear to hip, and make them think about throwing the basketball in for every second of it,” he said. “Guys kind of sucked it up, fought through that four-second segment of them throwing the basketball in and it paid off.”
The Knights (11-4, 4-1) played the game without leading scorer, Steven Santa Ana, and Ardrey Kell sorely missed him. Santa Ana missed the game with a minor injury, and Friday’s 40 points Ardrey Kell points tied the Knights’ second-lowest point total of the season.
Harris finished the game with 12 points for the Cardinals while teammate Mathew Powell led Berry with 14. Harris described the sequence that gave the Cardinals the winning bucket.
“When they were taking the ball out I told my teammates that we have to get this stop and end this game right now,” he said. “Josh (Lancaster), my point guard, ended up with the steal, we had the three-on-one, he dished it to me and I just tried to make a big play.”
The Knights led by eight after one quarter, but saw Berry score nine of the last ten points of the second quarter to get within one, 25-24. Ardrey Kell went cold in the third quarter with only three points on three free throws and no field goals. The Cardinals had 11 third-quarter points to take a seven point lead into final quarter.
The Knights made a 9-2 fourth-quarter run to tie the game at 40 with 1:35 leftand a chance to win it with what they thought would be the the last shot of regulation. But Lancaster and Harris had different ideas, and kept Berry undefeated in the conference while giving Ardrey Kell it’s first conference loss.
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