Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Greg Dennis played marvelously Saturday night is Robinson's bid for the Vir-against Ferguson of Newport News. He finished with 25 points, making 11 ginia AAA basketball championship of 15 shots from the field, and grab bed nine rebounds.
Remember him for that.
Forget, that with five seconds remaining in the game, he paid the price of being human. He missed the second of two free throws, leaving Robinson behind, 60-63. The game ended that way.
"Greg Dennis has done so much for us this season," said Robinson coach Roscoe Dean. "I hate to see it end like this. He's won a few for us this season, believe me. And he'll win plenty more for the college he goes to."
An AII-Met 6-foot-2 175-pound senior, Dennis tied the game at 67 with 1,08 remaining. Dennis then fouled Ferguson's Grant Robinson with 14 seconds, a wise move considering Robinson was zero-for-three at the line to that point.
Robinson swished both one-and-one free throws and the Rams called time out. Dennis got the ball and was fouled by Robinson on shot from the foul line. After Dennis made the first free throw, Ferguson (26-0) called time out.
Dennis' second free throw attempt hit the back of the rim and Raymone Robertson (of Ferguson) controlled the rebound. The Rams' Mike Tissaw then used his final foul to send Robertson to the line with one tick remaining. He missed.
Robinson, the Northern Region champion, finished the season with a 24-3 mark. Two starters, Tissaw (6-8,200) and Dave ELlison (6-2, 150), will return next season. Tissaw finished last night's game with 17 points and 12 rebounds and Ellison had eight points.
Dean said before the game that his team needed to control the tempo and keep Tissaw, the Rams' tallest player, in the game. For the first half, everything went as planned. In the second half, the plan crumbled.
Robinson made 10 of opening quarter and streaked to a 25-14 advantage. Dennis had eight points and Winston Streeter contributed seven in the surge.
The Rams continued to play well into the second period, building a 41-26 margin with 2.24 left to go in the half. Ferguson, with the aid of six straight points in the final minutes, narrowed its deficit to 42-32 at the half.
Robinson made 15 of 25 field goal attempts and 12 and 13 free throws in the half.
Robinson point guard Todd Kirtley picked up his fourth foul with 3:54 remaining in the third period. Two minutes later. Tissaw recieved his fourth personal and the loss of those two hurt the Rams.
Ferguson, an exceptionally quick team, pressed recklessly in third period, and with Kirtley out, it worked. The Rams committed turnover after turnover and the tempo of the game picked up. Robinson still led, 53-51, going into the final period but Ferguson had the momentum.
"When he (Kirtley) was out (of the game)," said Dean, "their press gave us some problems. When he was in, it didn't. We had some critical turnovers that really hurt.
"I felt the momentum changing but we couldn't do anything about it," added Dean.
Ferguson, which had 25 points from 5-5 guard Larry Williams, scored eight straight points at the start of the final period to take its first lead, 59-58, with 6-51 remaining.
At the point, Tissaw and Kirtley, re-entered the game but Ferguson led, 65-60, with 5:05 left.
In earlier games, Cumberland defeated James River, 60-47, for the A title as Dwayne Dennis scored 24 points, and 7-1 junior Ralph Sampson scored 29 points and pulled down 23 rebounds to lead Harrisonburg past Bruton, 70-57, for the AA crown.