Ezekiel Brown’s follow shot gives Scotlandville win over Central

CENTRAL — The stage was set for Ezekiel Brown to make the game-winning shot for Scotlandville High School. But with the clock winding down, Brown missed a shot while driving to the basket.

It looked like the game would go to overtime.

But Brown grabbed the rebound and scored on a layup as the clock expired, giving the Hornets a 42-40 victory over Central in a clash of the top two teams in District 4-5A on Tuesday night.

“This means a lot,” Brown said. “Everybody else has my back and I have theirs.”

Jordan Adebutu finished with 12 points and Brown added 11 for the Hornets (26-1, 7-0), who had just three 3-pointers and made only 7-of-27 shots from the field in the first three quarters.

“I’ve been waiting for a game like this,” Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample said. “I wanted to see what would happen if we weren’t making 3-pointers. Central outhustled us and got to every loose ball.

“We played good defense, but I learned tonight we need to be even better defensively and we have to rebound. Credit Central, they took it to us.”

Jordin Williams had 12 points and Malik Odom added 10 for Central (11-8, 4-2). The Wildcats used a variety of zone defenses to make the going as tough as possible for Scotlandville.

“The guys gave everything they had,” Central coach Ron Lewis said. “We talked about playing as one and playing as a family. We didn’t win, but this showed us what we can do when we give our best effort.

“Scotlandville is a great team. Ezekiel Brown is the best player in the district. They found a way to win it.”

With Hendrick Foster and Adebutu hitting 3-pointers, Scotlandville built a 10-4 lead. Two free throws and a basket by Williams got Central within two, at 10-8, with 2:35 left in the half.

Brown’s layup with 35 seconds left sent the Hornets into the second quarter with a 12-8 lead. The pace, offensively at least, slowed down after that.

The two teams combined to make 2-of-17 second-quarter shots and compiled 11 turnovers.

Scotlandville missed the front end of two one-and-one free-throw chances. Central also missed the front end of a one-and-one. Another layup by Brown, this one with 49.9 seconds left in the half, gave Scotlandville a 17-10 halftime lead.

Central grabbed the lead a couple of times in the third quarter. The first time came on a shot in the lane by Odom with 5:07 left. A layup and a free throw by Adebutu with 12.3 seconds left Scotlandville into the fourth quarter with a 26-25 lead.

The Hornets warmed up in the fourth quarter, making 5-of-11 shots from the field. But they couldn’t shake Central. The score was tied four times during the final period.

Williams sank two free throws with 59.6 seconds left, giving Central 40-38 lead. Brown’s jumper in the lane tied it with 42.4 seconds remaining.

Donnie Lewis missed the front end of a one-and-one for Central with 33.1 seconds to go.

From there, Scotlandville held it for the Brown’s final shot that led to his game-winning putback.