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RCCC Just Misses

AHOSKIE – Missed free throws played a crucial part in Roanoke-Chowan’s loss to Thomas Nelson Community College here on Friday night.

In the Blue Force’s first game of 2006, Coach Johnnie Rascoe introduced several new players to his roster and, despite the fact that much of his team had never played an official game together, the home team played the Swampstompers tough for most of the contest.

Getting early baskets from Jonathan Smith and Javon Worrell, RCCC shook off some early rust to take a 28-20 advantage.

Thomas Nelson then went on a 9-0 run that put the visitors up by one.

Rascoe’s team regrouped, and got some serious inside play from forward Adrian Sawyer, to take the lead with under a minute to go in the first half. Thomas Nelson’s James Webb hit a jumper right before intermission to put the home squad behind 35-32.

Smith again started the scoring for RCCC in the second half, but it was the defensive effort of Richard Davis that allowed RCCC regain the lead in the contest.

In fact, RCCC had the lead for the first 10 minutes of the second half until consecutive baskets by Thomas Nelson’s James Thompson and Webb gave the visitors a 58-56 lead with about nine minutes to play.

Thomas Nelson got its lead up to five points before baskets by Worell and Leonard Burnell cut the lead to three and the score was 66-63.

Ocie Askew was fouled on a drive to the basket and missed two free throws that would’ve gotten the deficit down to a single point. After a Thomas Nelson turnover, Askew was again fouled, and missed one of two free throw attempts, for his fifth missed free throw of the night as he and his teammates could not take advantage of shots from the charity stripe.

A jumper by Webb, who led the Swampstompers with 24 points, gave his team a 68-64 advantage with three minutes remaining. A block by Sawyer and a steal by Smith held Thomas Nelson at bay on their next two possessions, and Askew made a lay up to tie the game at 68 points.

A key play of the game came with the score tied 70-70 and under a minute remaining. Thomas Nelson’s James Thompson drove to the basket and appeared to travel with the ball, instead a foul was called on the RCCC player defending him and Thompson’s shot attempt dropped in and he was sent to the free throw line for the bonus.

Thomas Nelson, held a three point lead and after a lay up by Worrell, who led the Blue Force with 17 points. Thompson was fouled on the ensuing play, resulting in a single free throw, and Durrell Jones missed a lay up with 10 seconds remaining that would’ve tied the game.

Two more free throws by Thomas Nelson’s Webb, made the score 76-72 and that wound up being the final score.

RCCC (72): Javon Worrell – 17, Ocie Askew – 13, J. Smith – 8, A. Sawyer – 8, R. Davis – 6, W. Gatling – 6,

L. Burnell – 5, D. Jones – 3, D. Barnes – 2, J. Askew – 2, D. Saunders – 2

TNCC (76): James Webb – 24, James Thompson – 18, Dion Tynes – 14, E. Whittle – 9, L. Foster – 6, J. Hendrick – 4