Originally created 01/03/01

Spartans rally behind Fuquay



When Glenn Hills trailed Hephzibah by 14 points during the first half, William Fuquay never worried.

Fuquay scored 12 of his 22 points in the second half and helped lead the Spartans to a 53-52 come-from-behind victory over the Rebels Tuesday night at Glenn Hills.

The boys thriller was preceded by two of the better girls basketball teams in the city squaring off. In the end, the Glenn Hills girls won 55-40.

"We just had to maintain our composure, keep playing and not give up," Fuquay said. "I saw we were down and hoped I could contribute in some way."

Hephzibah used its superior size and its outside shooting to open a 14-4 lead early in the second quarter of the boys game. While Glenn Hills struggled against 6-foot-9 post player Calvin Roland, the Rebels built their largest lead of the game at 22-8 with 5:12 left in the first half.

But Glenn Hills outscored Hephzibah 14-6 over the remainder of the quarter to trim the Rebels' lead to 28-22 at halftime.

The first of two three-point baskets from Fuquay cut the lead to 30-27 with 6:35 left in the third quarter. But it wasn't until Vander Thompkins' steal and layup with 3:03 left in the third gave the Spartans their first lead of the game at 35-34.

Both teams traded one-point leads until late in the fourth quarter. After George Brown's two free throws gave the Spartans a 47-45 lead with 2:11 left, Roland's jumper underneath the basket tied the game at 47, then a steal by Bobby Carter and a dunk gave the Rebels the lead at 49-47.

But Fuquay sank a jumper to tie the game at 49, then what was thought to be a three-pointer by Fuquay gave the Spartans the lead for good. Officials later ruled Fuquay had stepped on the three-point line and ruled the shot a two-point basket to make it 51-49.

Thompkins connected on one of two free throws to make it 52-49 with 15 seconds left, then a three-point attempt by Hephzibah sailed over the rim.

Brown then hit one of two free throws to make it 53-49. Hephzibah's Carter had a 3-point basket at the buzzer to account for the final points.

"I thought the shot was a three-pointer but they said it was a two," Fuquay said of his controversial basket. "I guess it didn't really matter. I just figured I'd go down and hit another three."

In the girls game, Glenn Hills used its perimeter game to down a young Hephzibah squad. With the exception of the early minutes of the game, the Lady Rebels never led in the game.

"We stayed focused and we've been stressing defense to our girls," said Glenn Hills girls coach Bernard Bowman. "If it's going to happen, it has to happen with defense. I thought (guard) Marquita Lacey did a good job getting some people in the right places tonight."

The Lady Spartans forced Hephzibah into 12 second half turnovers. Glenn Hills had three players - Lacey, Marian Whitfield and Sharneal Grant - score double figures in the game.

Hephzibah was led by Tamara Gilyard's 13 points and Jacquelyn Nelson's 11 points.