Jaques Faulk, No. 2 Grapeland Mount Furious Comeback, Eliminate Martin’s Mill in Overtime
FRANKSTON -- Grapeland couldn't buy a 3-pointer for three quarters at Frankston High School on Friday night.
Then Jaques Faulk hit the money shot.
The Sandies sophomore nailed a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left in overtime to lift No. 2 Grapeland to a 71-68 win over No. 14 Martin's Mill. Faulk's shot put the exclamation point on a win that saw Grapeland rally from 14 down entering the fourth quarter.
Grapeland (30-4) will face No. 20 Kerens, a 47-37 winner over Bosqueville on Friday night, in the regional quarterfinals. Martin's Mill ended its season at 24-8.
The Sandies never led until 2:06 showed on the clock in overtime when Jacolby Simpson dropped in a layup to give Grapeland a 65-63 lead.
Martin's Mill tied the game at 68-68 with 16 seconds left on two Davis Moore free throws.
On Grapeland's final possession Faulk inbounded the ball to Patrick Walker near halfcourt and made his way to the left corner. Walker drove and dished out to Faulk, who drained the game-winner and sent an already-raucous crowd into a frenzy.
"We wanted to send (Walker) down the line and put our sophomores in the corner. He was open and they gave him the shot," Grapeland coach Owen Clifton said. "He's been hitting that shot all season and all offseason. As soon as it left his hands I knew it was in."
Faulk was also the key to Grapeland's resurrection in the fourth. He hit two big 3-pointers to get the Sandies back into it. Timely turnovers plus a big 3-pointer by Patrick Walker with 11 seconds left in the fourth made the score 60-59, Martin's Mill.
Down by two with 0.9 seconds left in regulation, William Whitehead got a hold on the inbounds pass and dropped in the tying shot as the buzzer sounded. The shot caused an eruption on both sides of the gym, Grapeland celebrating while Martin's Mill fans protested the clock started late.
"These guys just played hard and kept fighting the whole way," Clifton said. "People have criticized Grapeland before saying they quit if they get down, but these guys got down and didn't quit fighting. I'm just so proud of these kids and how they fought."
Martin's Mill frustrated Grapeland's shooters much of the night, holding the Sandies to 9-of-34 shooting in the first half. Grapeland attempted 30 3-pointers in the game and only made six, but five of them came after halftime.
Moore (22 points) and Conway (18) helped Martin's Mill set the pace, and the Mustangs controlled the tempo -- and the scoreboard -- for most of the game. Martin's Mill shot 65 percent from the field in the first half to Grapeland's 26 percent. Grapeland attempted 30 3-pointers in the game and only made six, but five came after halftime.
Martin's Mill led by as much as 15 points early in the third quarter.
The Mustangs slowed the tempo in the fourth quarter and still led by 10 with 3:23 left. But Grapeland kept chipping away, forcing turnovers and capitalizing on missed chances by Martin's Mill at the free throw line. The Mustangs finished 15-of-23 at the line.
"They started nailing threes to cut into the lead, and we missed too many free throws," Martin's Mill coach Trae Moore said. "We did what we wanted to do most of the game and knew we had to slow it down late. It just didn't work out."
Jacolby Simpson led Grapeland with 19 points and six rebounds, while Demetri Walker and Patrick Walker each added 12. Faulk, who scored nine in the fourth and overtime, finished with 13.
Conway posted a double-double for Martin's Mill with 13 rebounds to go with his 18 points. Dylan Weatherford just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds, and July Latimer finished with 13 points. Latimer opened the game and ended the first half with 3-pointers, the second to give Martin's Mill a 32-23 lead at the break.
No. 2 Grapeland 71, No. 14 Martin's Mill 68 (OT)
Boys Class A Division I Region III Area Playoff
At Frankston High School
Grapeland 10 13 9 29 10 — 71
Martin's Mill 18 14 14 15 7 — 68
GRAPELAND (30-4) — Patrick Walker, 12; Jaques Faulk, 13; William Whitehead, 7; Dominic DeCello, 6; Jacolby Simpson, 19; John McKnight, 2; Demetri Walker, 12.
MARTIN'S MILL (24-8) — July Latimer, 13; Davis Moore, 22; Drew Ingram, 2; Hunter Conway, 18; Logan Jenkins, 4; Dylan Weatherford, 9.
THREE-POINT GOALS — Grapeland: Walker, Faulk (3), DeCello, Simpson. Martin's Mill: Latimer (2), Moore (3).