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Warriors falter, battle back in OT

By KEITH NIEBUHR

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 23, 2001


GAINESVILLE -- All signs pointed toward a collapse.

After holding a 15-point second-half lead, Seven Rivers Christian was headed to overtime. Its opponent was hot, and the Warriors, well, were not.

But just when it looked as though they would fold, the Warriors put together the most memorable four-minute stretch in the program's four-year history to pull out a 55-49 overtime win against 10th-ranked The Rock in the first round of the Class A playoffs.

The win is Seven Rivers' first in the post-season.

"What a great game," Seven Rivers coach Greg Hamilton said.

Seven Rivers will play a second-round game Tuesday at Laurel Hill, which beat Altha 48-44.

The Warriors (16-12) outscored The Rock 9-3 in overtime. After falling behind 47-46, Seven Rivers went back on top for good with 2:28 left when Chris Roth hit a three-pointer from the top of the key. With one minute remaining, Shawn Allen was sent to line for a one-and-one, and hit both ends to put the Warriors up 51-47.

After the Lions' Andrew Brantley cut it to 51-49 on a short jumper, Allen made one of two foul shots with 34.9 seconds left for a three-point lead. Twenty-one seconds later, Seven Rivers guard Frankie Squire hit two free throws to seal the win.

Squire, who hit four three-pointers, finished with a game-high 22 points.

"He's really stepped up his game so much," Hamilton said. "He's become such a leader on the court."

Others also stepped up.

Roth hit three field goals -- all three-pointers -- and finished with 10 points. Bob Adams, despite going up against 6-foot-10 center Anthony Morris most of the game, had 10 points and six rebounds. The Warriors' other starters -- Allen and Chris Toms -- finished with six and five points, respectively.

"This is great," Toms said. "This is our first sweet 16 and we're looking forward to it. We finally made it. "

Seven Rivers led by six at the half and nine after three quarters.

At one point, the Warriors led by 15 before The Rock, behind Brantley and fellow guard Jeff Wofford, made its run. The Lions (16-9) outscored Seven Rivers 6-2 in the final minute of regulation, and Wofford's two foul shots with seven seconds left sent the game to overtime.

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