Rallying from an 11-point deficit early in the second half, Curtis topped Garfield 70-66 in overtime tonight at the 4A state tournament to advance to the finals tomorrow.
Leading 68-66 with three seconds left in the extra period, the Vikings’ Andre Lewis broke up Garfield’s inbound attempt at midcourt, and the Bulldogs’ Tucker Haymond was called for an intentional foul. He calmly hit both free throws, and Curtis ran out the rest of the clock after retaining possession.
The Vikings had a chance to win it in regulation, but Dominic Robinson was stripped as he drove to the hoop, and the Bulldogs’ full-court heave was off target. Robinson, though, put up his typical dominant performance, scoring a game-high 25 points. Garfield dominated the interior in the first quarter, as Torrance Baker scored 11 of his 15 points in the opening period to help the Bulldogs take a 15-9 lead. Curtis, meanwhile, was 0-for-5 from three-point range in the period. The Vikings were 0-for-12 from beyond the arc until Robinson hit a three-pointer to tie it 63-63 early in overtime.
Trevaunte Williams took over by scoring eight points for Garfield in the second quarter, putting them up 23-14 with a jumper two minutes into the period. But Robinson then caught fire, hitting an easy layup off a nice pass from Lewis with 2:28 until the break to cut it to 26-24. Robinson totaled 10 points in the quarter, and Garfield led 30-26 at halftime.
But Williams – who led Garfield with 20 points – gave the Bulldogs their largest lead at 44-33 with a three-point play midway through the third quarter. The Vikings slowly climbed back into the game at the free-throw line, as they finished 25-for-31 from the charity stripe. Isom Brown pulled Curtis within 51-48 early in the fourth with two free throws, and Jayson Williams hit Tory Causey for an easy layup to tie it 52-52 with 5:30 left. The Vikings got their first lead at 56-54 on Causey’s steal and layup two minutes later. The Vikings held a 60-59 lead with 30 seconds left, but Demario Hall hit one of two free throws to tie it up again.
Causey also provided a key moment in overtime for the Vikings, hitting a layup to give Curtis a 65-64 lead and causing Williams to foul out in the process. Causey had 13 points, Brown added nine points and Lewis had eight points and seven rebounds for the Vikings.
They will take on Jackson on Saturday night at 9 p.m. for the 4A state title.