Darryl Burrows and Dillard stood 15 feet — and three free throws — away from going to double overtime once again. The wing had just drawn a foul on a three-point attempt with 5.4 seconds left, and he was headed to the free-throw line with a chance to make three free throws and keep the Panthers’ championship hopes alive.
He walked to the line and stared at the rim. He missed the first and then the second. The three-point deficit still stood on the scoreboard, so he whipped his final attempt at the backboard trying to create an offensive rebound, only it never touched the rim. It was a lane violation and the ball was going back to Bartow. Two free throws later and the Yellow Jackets were celebrating a 66-61 overtime win the Class 6A boys’ basketball championship.
“We had those opportunities,” said coach Darryl Burrows, who is also the senior’s father. “That team just made those plays down at the end and we didn’t.”
Dillard (24-8) had chance after chance throughout the final minutes of regulation, and overtime, to potentially put away Bartow (30-1) or at least guarantee double overtime for the second straight game after it took two extra periods to beat Lake City Columbia in the 6A semifinals Thursday. The Panthers blew a five-point lead in the last two minutes when they started to try to run out the clock and then they missed two potential game-winning shots in the final 10 seconds. In overtime, they were the ones who needed the furious late rally and they nearly erased a six-point deficit in the last minute before Burrows missed his chance at the free-throw line in Lakeland.
Dillard forced a tie-up on the Yellow Jackets’ inbound attempt, but the possession arrow pointed in Bartow’s favor and shooting guard Tyrone Smith sunk two free throws with 0.4 seconds left to seal the win in front of the Yellow Jackets-friendly crowd at the RP Funding Center, less than 15 miles from Bartow.
The Panthers and Yellow Jackets traded blows throughout the game, and the margin was never larger than six points in overtime. Bartow mostly silenced Dillard stars Ivan Reynolds and Jalen Haynes, who combined for 15 points and 11 field-goal attempts. The Panthers mostly silenced star Yellow Jackets point guard Walter Clayton, who finished with eight points on 3-of-10 shooting. Role players like combo guard Chandler Mack and Asonaba Bromley handled most of the scoring load for Dillard, finishing with 18 and 14 points, respectively.
Still, Dillard clung to a five-point lead with less than two minutes to go when Bartow point guard Amarion Frazier drilled a three. The Panthers’ lead was down to 55-53 and their next three possessions all ended with turnovers as Burrows called for Dillard to run methodical offense and chew clock.
“They weren’t forced,” the coach said. “We just didn’t make those plays.”
With 38.7 seconds left, the Panthers held for the last shot and Bromley missed an open three, then Mack missed a second-chance look. For the second time in three days, Dillard went to overtime.
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The plan right away was to assert Haynes inside and he easily scored with a hook shot on the Panthers’ first possession of overtime. Just seconds later, he was headed to the bench for the rest of the game. Clayton went right at him on the other end and drew an and-one against the post player. Haynes, who claims a scholarship offer from the Mississippi State Bulldogs, was done with just seven points and five rebounds on 3-of-3 shooting.
“They were fronting me a lot, so they were forcing us to throw the lob over the top,” Haynes said, “and basically trying to get the ball out of my hands.”
The layup by Clayton triggered an 8-1 run for the Yellow Jackets, who took a 64-58 lead into the final minute. Mack went to the line on the next possession and made 1 of 2, then fellow wing Nick Bennett went 2 for 2 at the line a possession later to trim the lead to 64-61. Dillard turned up its pressure and Bennett came up with the steal the Panthers needed. Burrows took a timeout with 18.3 seconds left and Dillard got a look at a potential game-tying shot.
Burrows swung his legs out and drew enough contact to get to the line. It was the trouble spot all night for the Panthers, though. Burrows went 0 for 3 and Dillard finished just 18 of 31 at the line. For the second straight year, the Panthers’ quest to match a Broward County record with eight state titles fell short in the final game.
▪ Gulliver Prep. 12, TERRA 2: Mekayla Frazier 3-3, HR 3 RBI, Andrea Delgado 3-4, 2RBI, Ellie Gabriele 1-2 2BB, 1 RBI, Natalie Menedez 1-3 2 RBI. WP: Ajah Mallory 4-0, 5IP, 2H 0R, 11 Ks. GP: 4-0
▪ Ransom Everglades 17, LaSalle 6: Abby Sekoff 2-2, 2B, RBI, 4R; Talia Berler 3-5, 3RBI, 3R; Yasmina Haddad 2-5, 4RBI, 1R; Taya Wilson 3-4, 2B, 3RBI,1R; Cheila Castro 2-2, 4R; Cornelia Ehlebracht 2-4, 2R; WP Abby Sekoff CG, 11Ks. RE: 4-1
▪ Southwest 3, Coral Park 0: WP: Brandon Andrade CG, 1H; Frank Elissalt game winning single in the seventh. Chris Alvarez, Matt Fernandez RBI.
BOYS’ WATER POLO
▪ Ransom Everglades 19, Braddock 2: Hayes Holly 1 goal, 4 steals; Coren O’brien 10 blocks, 3 steals RE: 9-3.
▪ Gulliver Prep. 25 TERRA 0: Bruno Rebessi 5 goals, 1 assist, 3 steals; Hayaat Kay-Ramos 1 goal, 3 assists, 1 steal; Parker Rosenthal 3 goals; Phelipe Lyra 5 blocks, 1 assist, 1 steal.
▪ Gulliver Prep. 18, West Orange 6: Bruno Rebessi 7 goals, 2 assist, 6 steals; Bailey Quintero 3 goals, 1 assist, 1 steal; Hayaat Kay-Ramos 1 goal, 3 assists, 6 steals; Jero Dacharry 2 goals, 2 assists, 2 steals.
▪ Gulliver Prep 12, South Broward 6: Bruno Rebessi 4 goals, 1 assist, 5 steals; Hayaat Kay-Ramos 2 goals, 1 steal; Awwal Kay-Ramos 2 goals, 1 steal; Bailey Quintero 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 steals; GP: 8-0.
GIRLS’ WATER POLO
▪ Ransom Everglades 18, Braddock 2: Alexa Hommen 6 steals 1 block; Preston Edmunds 2 goals, 3 assists. RE: 11-0.
▪ Gulliver Prep. 19, TERRA 1: Antonia Trius 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 steals; Emily Miller 3 goals, 2 assists, 6 steals; Gaby Montalvo 5 goals, 5 steals; Margaret Miao 3 goals, 4 steals.
▪ Gulliver Prep. 23, West Orange 3: Gaby Montalvo 8 goals, 4 assists, 7 steals; Alissa Pascual 5 goals, 3 assists, 2 steals; Emily Miller 3 goals, 3 assists, 4 steals; Kalei Ganser 2 blocks, 2 assists, 2 steals. GP: 5-3.
▪ Mourning 69, Miami Springs 60, Hialeah Gardens 26, Reagan 17, Miami High 10.
▪ Hialeah Gardens 84, Mourning 65, Reagan 35, Miami High 34, Miami Springs 29.
▪ Krop d. Hialeah Gardens 7-0: Gabriela Rondon Ayami Maehama, Monique Lima, Ginella Grimes and Galit Beraja all won in singles. Lima/Grimes and Beraja/Lotter won doubles.
▪ Krop d. Reagan 6-1: Ayami Maehama, Monique Lima, Ginella Grimes and Galit Beraja all won in singles; Rondon/Beraja and Lima/Grimes won doubles. KR: 5-0.
▪ Krop d. Hialeah Gardens 7-0: Sebastian Rondon, Andrés Escalona, Abraham Shaoul, Jaime Duran and Simon González all won singles. Rondon/Lotter and Wolf/Irwanto won doubles.
▪ Krop d. Reagan 7-0: Sebastian Rondon, Andrés Escalona, Abraham Shaoul, Jaime Duran and Simon González all won singles. Wolf/Lotter and Gonzalez/Irwanto won in doubles. KR: 5-0.
▪ Hialeah d. Central 7-0 and Reagan 4-3: Adrian Carrillo, Michael Friman, Sam Gelber, Xander Lake, Christian Gardner, Frank Mcphillips, and Matthew Edelstein all won in singles. HIA: 4-2.
▪ Palmetto 15, University School 12: Shannyn Cullen 5 goals, 2 assists; Sofia Aguirre: 4 goals, 5 assists, 4 ground balls; Vanessa Serrano 2 goals, 2 assists, 2 ground balls; Sofia Sicuso 1 goal, 7 ground balls; Gabi Rousseau 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 ground balls; Sam Berlan 1 goal, 2 ground balls; Allie Gould 1 goal, 1 ground ball; Emily Polo 9 saves, 6 clears.
▪ Palmetto d. Miami High 3-1 (25-20, 25-10, 21-25, 25-21): Alvaro Grande 14 kills, 9 blocks; Dante Lennon 6 kills, 4 digs, 3 aces; Stefan Playa 11 digs, Oscar Familia 8 kills. PAL: 4-0.
▪ Palmetto d. Coral Reef 3-0 (25-6, 25-6, 25-18): Leo Fernandez 8 kills, 5 assists, 4 aces; Dominic DeFerrari 12 assists, 11 points; Oscar Familia 5 assists, 5 aces, 3 kills.