The play went exactly how Wakefield Coach Tony Bentley didn’t want it to go.
With five seconds left and the Warriors down two to Langley in the Virginia AAA Northern Region quarterfinals Tuesday, Bentley had drawn up a play for his top two scorers, Khory Moore and Ermias Nega. But with both seniors covered, the ball somehow ended up in the hands of Re’Quan Hopson behind the three-point line – the one place he had never attempted a shot all season.
Hopson made it count, draining the three as time expired to give the Warriors a dramatic 46-44 win. The shot proved to be the last in Wakefield’s gym, which will be replaced by a new one in September.
“When Re’Quan knocked it down, I was so excited that I jumped over the bench,” Bentley said in a Tuesday phone interview.
The play capped a thrilling final nine seconds. After being down 41-35 with three minutes remaining, Langley rallied to take a 44-43 lead on a Brad Dotson lay-in with nine seconds left. The Saxons’ 6-foot-6 senior center had given the Warriors trouble for much of the night with his length in Langley’s zone defense, forcing the Warriors to slow down from their usual uptempo pace.
On the ensuing possession, after seeing that Moore and Nega were covered, Hopson inbounded the ball to Marqua Walton near halfcourt. The sophomore ended up kicking it right back to Hopson on the right side, where the junior calmly swished the game-winning three.
The victory extended the red-hot Warriors’ win streak to 15 games and advanced them to the semifinal round, where they will meet Robinson on Friday at 8 p.m. Wakefield previously defeated the Rams, 57-41, in the second game of the regular season.
Here’s the reverse angle, for good measure.
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