When Dylan Farmer saw Greenbrier take a lead late in overtime in a game his Harlem squad had led throughout, he knew someone had to step up.
So the junior tied it up with a three-point play. Then, he stole a pass and scored in transition.
Finally, he iced the Bulldogs’ 64-59 season-opening victory over the Wolfpack with three late free throws.
“You just gotta keep playing,” said Farmer, who had eight of his game-high 21 points in the final minute of overtime. “That’s all I can say.”
Harlem (1-0) came into the 2011-12 season on the heels of a 5-20 campaign, while Greenbrier (0-1) was 19-11 a year ago and made the state playoffs.
However, the impressive performance of freshman point guard Reggie Reid, who scored 20, and Farmer’s late-game heroics helped the Class AAA Bulldogs past their Class AAAA Columbia County counterpart.
Harlem ran out to an early lead, then extended it to 37-29 at the half.
Greenbrier methodically cut into the lead in the second half, finally tying the contest on a Delano Hulse free throw with 1:27 left in the fourth quarter.
It was the final point of regulation, as Thomas Brown’s lay-in attempt for the Wolfpack at the buzzer rolled on the rim, but fell off.
Greenbrier took its first lead since scoring the first basket of the game with a little more than a minute to go in overtime. Brown made a free throw, then alertly got the rebound on his subsequent missed free throw and scored on a lay-up.
Down three, Harlem stormed back with Farmer’s eight-point surge.
Harlem’s Alonzo Hill (17 points) and Greenbrier’s Brown (14 points) fouled out in a game that featured loads of fouls and 63 free throws.
Greenbrier was hurt by its free-throw shooting, going 14-for-34.
In the girls game, Greenbrier used a dominant first quarter and a strong closing kick to earn a 45-24 win over Harlem.
Wolfpack first-year head coach Stefanie Basinger said her team, which has no seniors, struggled in the preseason with boxing out.
She put a focus on it for the opener, and it showed; Greenbrier (1-0) controlled the glass and scored on numerous put-backs.
KaRa Thompson had a game-high 12 points for Greenbrier, which led 17-3 after one quarter.
Christina Rentas had 10 for Harlem (0-1).