VAUX 62, MATH, CIVICS & SCIENCES 61
No representatives from Temple, UCLA, or St. John's were spotted at Southern during Saturday night's Public League Class A championship game. But the three finalists for Rysheed Jordan's services will no doubt hear about his last-minute heroics.
With 0.1 seconds remaining, after missing his first attempt from the free-throw line, the prized recruit calmly buried the second to give Roberts Vaux a 62-61, come-from-behind victory over stunned Math, Civics & Sciences.
With 10.7 seconds to go, the 6-foot-3 phenom hit two freebies to forge a 61-61 tie. That was followed by his steal in front of the MC&S bench. Following a time-out, after he hurried the ball past midcourt and down the lane, he was fouled.
"I thought he was going to make both free throws," Vaux coach Jamie Ross said. "When he missed the first one, I knew he was going to make the second."
In the first half, while scoring 17 of his squad's 28 points, Jordan went 0 for 4 from the charity stripe.
"I pulled him aside and told him how important it was for him to make his free throws," Ross said. "With the way he attacks the basket, we knew he would get more chances."
The contest also served as a Public League playoff quarterfinal. In beating the Mighty Elephants, the Cougars earned a berth in Thursday's 6:30 p.m. semifinal, back at Southern, versus Class AAAA champ Martin Luther King.
The other semifinal, slated for 5 p.m., will pit Class AAA winner Imhotep Charter against Class AA titlist Communications Tech. The final is scheduled for next Sunday at Temple.
In helping Vaux reverse a regular-season loss to MC&S, Jordan totaled 29 points, eight rebounds (four on offense), five assists, and five steals in 31 minutes.
Jordan's clinching free throw marked just the Cougars' second lead of the game. The Mighty Elephants were in front, 38-28, at intermission and had a 56-49 lead with 4 minutes to play.
MC&S killed itself with 26 turnovers, including nine in the fourth quarter. "We did a good job of pressuring them," Ross said. "I made sure I had my best defenders in there - Rysheed, Sammy (Foreman), Karon (Snead), and Khalief (Tinley)."
Amir Butler chipped in nine points, seven boards, and two assists; Snead, with three steals, provided a big spark off the bench; and Lester Mattox nailed a big fourth-quarter trey.
Shafeek Taylor, who guarded Jordan most of the way, and Malik Starkes posted 17 and 15 points, respectively, for the Mighty Elephants. Jeremiah Worthem notched 11 points and 10 boards.
Earlier at Southern, in the Class AA final, senior guard David Johnson netted 25 points, including three treys, as Communications Tech held off Constitution, 78-75.
Vaux 11 17 15 19-62
Math, Civics & Sciences 20 18 10 13-61
V: Rysheed Jordan 29, Amir Butler 10, Trayvond Massenberg 2, Lester Mattox 6, Sammy Foreman 9, Khalief Tinley 4, Karon Snead 2.
MCS: Malik Starkes 15, Quadir Welton 6, Jeremiah Worthem 11, Shafeek Taylor 17, Louis Myers 12.