Jan 8, 2010
Knightdale head coach Battle Watkins called Thursday night's game with East Wake a "unbelievable high school game with an intense atmosphere, lead changes, and a packed gym."
Everyone there witnessed an overtime thriller, including a half court buzzer beater at the end of regulation to send it to overtime.
Knightdale eventually won, 83-80.
The Knights opened the game with a 19-14 lead going into the second quarter, but East Wake closed in on the lead going into the break, outscoring Knightdale 19-16 in the second quarter to trail by two at the half.
After Knightdale put up 20-points in the third quarter to extend its lead to four, East Wake's offense got rolling in the fourth quarter.
East Wake took the lead with two minutes left in the ball game, and with 2.8 seconds left, Knightdale had the ball under the East Wake basket down by three-points. The Knights threw the ball out of bounds near mid court, and East Wake got the ball back.
Tyler Nicholson stole the ball from the Warriors, though, took one dribble near half court and launched a buzzer beater to tie the game.
"It was pandemonium and disbelief for the fans," Watkins said of the shot.
Ronnie Frederick took over in overtime for Knightdale, scoring six of the Knights' nine points in the period.
The Knights outscored the Warriors 9-6 in the extra period to win.
"Everyone in the gym was exhausted," Watkins said. "Almost everyone I talked to after the game said it was the most exciting high school game they had seen in a long time."
Watkins also said that players from both sides showed great sportsmanship after the game.
According to Watkins, Aaron Smith was the key player for Knightdale on Thursday. Smith posted a career high 28-points, and also recorded eight rebounds and six steals. Kasunn Williams had 24-points for East Wake.
"My assistant coach suggested I send in the buzzer beater to ESPN," Watkins said on Friday. "Maybe I will!"
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