Forty-one-point-three seconds. That's how long it took for Hampton to turn everything around.
On the brink of packing up the uniforms instead of playing on, the Crabbers rallied behind Jordan Baker's heroics for a 62-56 win over Nansemond River in the Eastern Region quarterfinals Thursday night at Scope. Baker put Hampton ahead on a 3-pointer with 1:09 left, and then he did everything possible to make sure it stood.
Because he did, the Crabbers advanced to the semifinals on Saturday, when they'll have a chance to clinch a spot in the state tournament by beating the King's Fork-Landstown winner.
"Jordan Baker has come a really long way," teammate Anthony Barber said. "That was a huge 3."
The 3, which came from straight-on and put Hampton up 57-56, was just the beginning. Fourteen seconds later, Baker stripped Nansemond River's Dontrell Brite of the ball and pushed it ahead for Jahmante Jackson, whose layup gave the Crabbers a three-point lead with :50 showing.
Once the Warriors' Shannon Evans dribbled into the frontcourt, Barber slapped the ball off his leg and out of bounds with 33 seconds left. And with :27.7 on the clock, Baker went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line to give Hampton a 61-56 lead.
The Warriors, who led 54-47 with 4:37 left, were stunned. Menchville, which fell apart down the stretch Wednesday night, can relate.
"We just stayed together as a team," Hampton assistant coach
said. "This group always thinks they're going to find a way to win. They found a way to win tonight."
As always, Barber was a major factor. He had 21 points, right around his average, along with eight rebounds and three steals. Baker had a final 69 seconds he'll be telling his grandchildren about — no need to embellish.
But the first one Crabbers coach Walter Brower mentioned was little-used junior Jeff
, whose stat line shows one rebound, one foul, and one assist in 12 minutes. Ten of those minutes came in the second half, when he did his best to hound Brite's every step. Brite finished with 17 points, but only two came in the final 10 minutes.
"Jeff Barnes just stepped up and locked down Brite when I couldn't guard him," Baker said. "We needed speed on him."
"He didn't stop him from scoring every time, but he made him work," Brown said. "That was big for us."
After beating Bayside by two points Monday night, Hampton outscored Nansemond River 15-2 in the final 4 1/2 minutes on Thursday.
"You always have to think you have enough time left," Barber said. "You've got to keep playing until the buzzer sounds, no matter how far you're down. We kept playing, and we came back and won the game."
HAMPTON 62, NANSEMOND RIVER 56
NANSEMOND RIVER (21-5):
Evans 12, Brite 17, Joyce 6, Washington 4, Drew 2, Melendez 7, Copeland 2, Wallace 6. Totals: 23 7-11 56.
Baker 11, Barber 21, Jackson 7, T. Perry 5, Royal 9, Moore 2, Joyner 3, Adams 2, C. Perry 2. Totals: 21 15-22 62.