CHARLESTON, W.Va. — J.T. Rogoszewski scored nine of his 22 points in triple-overtime and No. 7 Hurricane celebrated a grueling 69-66 victory over No. 3 Hedgesville in a Class AAA semifinal filled with clutch moments.
After the marathon game finally wound to a close, Hurricane coach Lance Sutherland described it as “one heck of a show.”
In the closing seconds of the third overtime, Hedgesville’s C.J. Burks tried to deliver one more gigantic shot, putting up a desperation 3 in hopes of extending the game again. But his contested 23-footer fell short and the Redskins fans erupted in bedlam—their team clinching its first berth in a state title game.
“They were in kind of a zone, so I couldn’t drive to the basket,” Burks said. “There was really only one other choice, to shoot the 3. My team trusted me to take the last shot and I missed it.”
Henry Sorsaia added 20 points for Hurricane (20-6), which benefited from a 38-13 edge in free-throw attempts.
Burks scored 17 to pace Hedgesville (19-5), while Marcus Gulledge scored 15 points on 6-of-6 shooting.
In a back-and-forth thriller that culminated semifinal Friday, it appeared the only thing that might end this game was a curfew. The teams scored on five straight possessions at the end of double-overtime, capped by Rogoszewski’s two free throws with 12 seconds left that tied it at 57-all.
“I just believed in myself and in my free-throw shooting,” Rogoszewski said. “I know I can make them and I want the ball at the end of the game.”
Rogoszewski’s foul-shooting was clutch, but the cold-blooded shot of the night occurred at the end of regulation—a buzzer-beating pull-up 3-pointer by Hedgesville guard Daniel Delaware that squared the score at 52-all and sent the Civic Center into mayhem.
“When I hit the shot I was just happy to still be in it,” Delaware said. “It was a broken-down play and I just took the final shot.”
The euphoria took only a brief reprieve when neither team scored in the first four-minute overtime.
Though Hedgesville shot 51 percent overall and owned a 33-20 edge in rebounding, the Eagles committed 22 turnovers to Hurricane’s 12.
“It became awkward, and in their zones they played a little bit differently,” Hedgesville coach Kelly Church said. “They don’t necessarily trap you, but they jump passing lanes and try to bother stuff. For whatever reasons, as we adjusted we turned the ball over and panicked at times.”