HICKORY – In a fast-paced back-and-forth affair, visiting Fayetteville Technical Community College held on to beat Catawba Valley Community College 97-96 in a Region X conference game Saturday afternoon at the Tarlton Complex.
With 1:44 remaining, Red Hawks freshman guard Tyrell Oglesby tied the game at 85 after completing a three-point play when he was fouled on a made jumper. The Trojans (9-5, 6-4) then converted on four straight free throws before CVCC sophomore post Steve Ruszala tipped in an offensive rebound with 47 seconds to play. But the Red Hawks (6-9, 1-5) got no closer than that until the game’s final shot, when freshman wing Everett Palmer hit a three at the buzzer to provide the final scoreline.
Following a scoreless two minutes to open the game, the Red Hawks jumped out to a 15-9 lead through six early points from freshman forward Isayah Johnson. But Fayetteville Tech responded with a 14-2 run over the next four and a half minutes, taking its first lead of the game at the midpoint mark of the half.
After CVCC coach Bryan Garmroth called a timeout, his players bounced back for a 12-3 run of their own. Oglesby made a pair from the free throw line before sinking a shot from beyond the arc. And after freshman guard Marcus Talley added another pair of free throws, a layup from sophomore guard Caleb Bryson put the Red Hawks back in front 26-25.
Four ties and four lead changes followed in the final six minutes of the half, but CVCC took a 43-40 lead into the intermission when sophomore guard Dante Starr made a three-pointer with under 10 seconds left.
The Trojans started the second half strongly, using a 14-4 run to take a seven-point advantage. The Red Hawks immediately countered that with a 9-0 run of their own. Oglesby drove the lane and dished to an open Ruszala, who laid in an easy layup. Talley chipped in a pair from the charity stripe before Oglesby and Ruszala repeated their dance, this time with the big man converting the three-point play after a foul.
Oglesby, who scored a game-high 22 points, then drove for a layup of his own to put the hosts ahead with less than 14 minutes to go.
CVCC held that lead for nearly 10 minutes but couldn’t put away the Trojans, who hung within six points. The visitors finally retook the lead on a free throw from Kehlo Chavis with 3:51 to play. After Oglesby’s three-point play knotted the score at 85, the game became a matter of who could make crucial plays down the stretch.
Fayetteville Tech went 12-for-18 from the charity stripe in the final 100 seconds, with Chavis sinking the crucial free throw with three seconds on the clock. The loss is the third straight for the Red Hawks, who have allowed 90-plus points in each of those defeats.
Along with Oglesby, four other CVCC players scored in double figures. Ruszala finished with 19 points, 18 coming in the second half. Johnson and sophomore wing Myles Williams each added 14, while Talley chipped in 11.
Four Trojans also scored double-digit points. Nicolas Kuhns scored 15 of his team-high 20 in the second half. Jabari Bowman finished with 18, Johnny Hughes added 17 and Cedric Miller had 15.
Garmroth was not available for comment after the game.
The Red Hawks return to action Tuesday night at winless Vance-Granville Community College for a 7 p.m. tipoff.