A healthy Ryan Fucci and a "possessed" Myles Potter helped Tates Creek rally to beat host Henry Clay 63-55 in overtime in boys' basketball Saturday night.
Fucci, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, sat out two weeks over the Christmas holidays to let a nagging high-ankle sprain heal. His left wheel looked fine as he scored 23 points, including a tying three-pointer with 45 seconds left in regulation.
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"Ryan gave it everything he's got," Coach Wayne Breeden said. "He played (31) gut-wrenching minutes."
Potter had one rebound and no points in 12 minutes of play through three quarters. But the 6-4 junior came alive when the Commodores needed him the most, and he finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
"Myles was sort of a possessed animal in there," Breeden said. "He kept getting the ball and finishing. He made some really big plays for us down the stretch."
Marcellus Barksdale, a 6-3 sophomore, added 12 points and 13 rebounds.
"I thought all our guys played hard. This is the kind of win that'll help them believe in what they can do."
Henry Clay jumped ahead 21-9 in the first quarter, with Prince Stewart scoring 10 for the Blue Devils. But the 6-foot senior cooled off after that and missed 13 of his last 15 shots.
Henry Clay still managed to stay a step ahead of the Commodores most of the way.
"We were in position to win the game," Devils Coach Daniel Brown said. "We had a four-point lead with (1:30) left (in regulation). You're supposed to win those.
"But we didn't make good decisions and let it get away."
After Potter's putback cut Henry Clay's lead to 50-49, Daniel Keisling's run-out layup put the Devils ahead 52-49.
But Fucci's three from the top of the key got a kind bounce on the rim and dropped in to tie it.
Henry Clay had plenty of time left, but Stewart missed a leaner in the lane, and Keisling couldn't connect on a baseline jumper.
Stewart opened overtime with a three-point play to give the Devils a 55-52 edge, but that was the last time they would score.
Tates Creek closed with an 11-0 blitz, with Potter accounting for five points on a couple rebound baskets and a free throw.
"Myles had a great game," Fucci said. "He always works hard and is a great team player."
Breeden also lauded Jordan Hagan's defense on Stewart in the closing minutes when Tates Creek went to a box-and-one.
"If we keep giving the kind of effort we had tonight, we'll be able to compete with a lot of teams on our schedule," Breeden said.
Stewart's 16 points, five assists and four steals paced Henry Clay. Keisling and Brandon Wilder had 11 points each. T.J. Barnes added eight points and 11 rebounds.
But the Devils couldn't overcome 33 percent shooting, and getting beat on the boards 46-34.
"Tates Creek outworked us and played harder than us," Brown said. "Give the credit to them."
Tates Creek 63, Henry Clay 55 (OT)
TATES CREEK (4-6) — Fucci 9-18 2-4 23, Barksdale 5-11 1-4 12, Potter 5-8 1-1 11, Hagan 0-2 2-3 2, Daugherty 4-7 1-2 9, Cuyler 2-6 0-0 4, Garner 1-4 0-0 2, Jones 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-57 7-14 63.
HENRY CLAY (8-5) — P. Stewart 6-23 1-1 16, Wilder 4-8 2-2 11, Nichols 1-2 0-0 2, Johnson 0-8 0-1 0, Keisling 3-6 5-5 11, Barnes 4-10 0-1 8, T. Stewart 2-3 1-2 5, Tilford 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 21-64 9-12 55.
Tates Creek 10 14 14 14 11—63
Henry Clay 21 6 16 9 3—55