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Green Run sinks free throws in the final seconds to stun Maury in Class 5 quarterfinals

VIRGINIA BEACH — You hear players and coaches say all the time after a big win that nobody gave them a chance to win.

But in the case of Green Run, the Stallions were absolutely right. When Maury lost to Woodside in the Class 5 Region B final, most predicted the two teams would meet again in the state semifinals.

They were wrong.

Green Run senior guard Sorrell Straker sank two free throws with 1.8 seconds left to help the Stallions stun the Commodores 38-36 and advance to the Class 5 state semifinals. The Stallions will meet Woodside, which beat Kempsville 75-54, in the semifinals Friday at Norfolk State. The game time is to be determined.

“This means a lot,” said Straker, whose only points were those decisive free throws. “Last year they knocked us out of the playoffs in the first round. We came back and had home court. Nobody believed in us, but we knocked them off.”

The game, which was tied eight times, was close throughout.

Green Run had a 10-4 lead in the first quarter, only to have the Commodores tie it in the second quarter. The game was tied at 18 at halftime.

The Stallions had a six-point lead with 3:55 left, but Maury made a 6-0 run to tie the game at 34 with 1:45 left.

Green Run’s Kassidy Jackson made two free throws with 1:32 left, but Adrean Newton Jr. came right back with a tough basket and was fouled, but missed the free throw to leave the game tied at 36 with 1:14 left.

The Stallions called a timeout with 1:03 remaining and to set up the game-winning basket, but they didn’t get it. But with 1.8 seconds left, Straker was fouled.

“After I got the ball, I knew there (wasn’t much time). Luckily he fouled me,” Straker said. “And all season we put noise on in practice when we’re shooting free throws because we know eventually the game is going to come down to this. I didn’t know it was going to be like this. I was a little bit nervous. But at the end of the day, it’s just free throws. I work on them all the time and I knew it was going to go in.”

The Commodores called a timeout to set up a last shot, but it fell short.

The Stallions, who shared a state title in 2020 during the COVID year and finished runner-up in 2021, are headed to their third state semifinal under coach Kenneth Harris.

After the game, he needed time to compose himself as he thought about what his team had accomplished.

He also knew no one gave the Stallions a chance to win this one.

“I let them know from the jump that nobody believes we’re going to win,” he said. “They’ve been saying that from the beginning. People were even surprised that we were a second seed going into (the Region A) tournament. But I’m always preaching ‘keep getting better,’ especially towards February and March. And that’s what we’re doing.”

Larry Rubama, 757-575-6449, larry.rubama@pilotonline.com