By Bryan Davis
The Green Wave had been in the situation before.
The game was tied, with less than 10 seconds to go. A foul was called on the opposing team, and West Point went to the line for two shots.
That’s the way it was against Houston a few weeks ago, and the Green Wave made both shots to win the game.
The situation repeated itself on Thursday night, against Bruce High School, at the Vardaman Tournament.
This time, it was Cortez Malone who was fouled, and he would go to the line for the crucial shot.
Malone swished the first one in to make it 70-69. He then followed suit with the second one for the 71-69 lead and eventual win.
“We played a lot of guys last night,” said West Point head coach Brad Cox on Friday. “I played 10 guys last night, so we were still fresh in the fourth.”
Bruce started out with an early lead against West Point’s boys, who had not played in three weeks. They scored 19 points to the Green Wave’s 14 points in the first.
In the second, however, the Green Wave came out looking sharp, and they scored 25 points against the Bruce defense.
Bruce was able to put 19 more on the board, but it amounted to a 39-38 deficit at halftime.
When the two teams returned to the hardwood in the third, it was clear that Bruce was not going to just let this one go. They responded to the Green Wave surge in the second with 22 points of their own in the third.
West Point, meanwhile, was held to just 15 points in the period.
Trailing 60-54 going into the fourth, the Green Wave needed to have a good final eight minutes on both sides of the ball.
They did just that, scoring 17 points, and holding Bruce to just nine points.
“We had been changing defenses, but we went to a full-court man-to-man in the fourth,” Cox said.
Laquintis Robertson was West Point’s leading scoring player with 15 points.
Cortez Malone was second with 13, including the game winners.
Laquante Gaston scored 10 points, and Jaquille White scored 10 in this first game of the season.
Daryl Thomas and Tyrone Saverson both had six points in the game.
West Point will travel to Oxford on Tuesday night for the team’s second district contest of the season.