In what will be considered an instant classic for the Scotland High School men’s varsity basketball team, the Fighting Scots defeated bitter rival Richmond Senior 48-47 on Senior Night on Feb. 15 in Laurinburg, N.C.
The Scots used a game clinching free throw from senior Artemis Robinson to put an exclamation point on a tough 2012-2013 season, stunning the Raiders in the final 14 seconds to earn a victory in the team’s final regular season game.
While most fans just wanted a competitive contest, many left with more excitement than they bargained for, as Robinson found the bottom of the net with no time left on the clock for the victory-sealing point from the charity stripe.
Richmond outpaced Scotland 11-4 in the first quarter before the Scots went on a run of their, scoring five points in a row to get back within two in the period. The Raiders scored again to make the score 13-9 after the first, carrying a 4-point lead into the second period.
The second quarter saw the Scots outscore the Raiders 11-7 to pull within one at the half, with Richmond holding a 21-20 advantage at the break.
Both teams’ offenses heated up in the third quarter, as Scotland edged the Raiders 16-15 in the period to tie the contest heading into the deciding fourth quarter. Scotland’s Aly Kaba paced the Scots with six points in the period to help tie the game at 36-36.
While the crowd may have been satisfied with Scotland staying in the game for the first 24 minutes, the team had much more to prove. With less than 35 seconds left, the Scots found themselves down three and began fouling to stop the clock. The Scots had a chance to score before an untimely turnover and a foul led to Richmond shooting a free throw to make it a 2-possession game.
The Richmond shooter missed on the one-and-one attempt at the free-throw line and Scotland snagged the rebound. Robinson gathered the ball and drove the length of the court before stepping back to drain game-tying 3-pointer with less than five seconds on the clock, sending the home crowd into an absolute frenzy.
Richmond returned Scotland’s untimely turnover with one of their own under the Scotland basket, passing it out of bounds, leaving the Scots with four seconds with a shot at the win.
The first inbounds pass from the Scots was deflected from Robinson’s hand, but on his second attempt, Robinson connected with a teammate and received the ball back, leaping for a final shot to beat the buzzer. The shot was short, but there was a foul called, sending Robinson to the free throw line with no time remaining in the game.
All Robinson needed was one shot to win. As the crowd buzzed with excitement, Robinson sunk the first free throw to give the Scots the victory.
Chants of, “Temis! Temis! Temis,” rained from the crowd, filling the gym as the Scots celebrated what looked earlier to be a sure defeat.
The Scots’ next game will be played next week in the Southeastern Conference tournament.