FEDERAL WAY — For most of regulation, Diallo Redd Jr. sat on the Beamer bench, playing the part of a supportive teammate. As Curtis fought back from a 15-point deficit to force overtime, though, it was Redd who had his teammates cheering for him.
Redd’s driving, 7-foot jumper with 1:56 left in overtime gave No. 7 Beamer a lead it would not relinquish, as the Titans outlasted No. 8 Curtis 87-82 in a thrilling SPSL South battle at Beamer High School.
The junior guard was only on the court because four Titans had already fouled out in a game riddled with whistles and free throws. The shot was his only field-goal attempt of the game, but it gave Beamer (13-2) a 79-77 advantage. Curtis (14-3) had taken a 75-73 lead early in overtime, the Vikings’ first lead since early in the second quarter.
“Our bench really held us down, man,” Beamer coach Winston Bell said. “One of the things we do, we don’t put any more onus on the starters than we do on one of our bench guys.”
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Beamer appeared to gain control soon after halftime and led by as many as 15 points, but everything changed when Trey Burch-Manning fouled out with 1:46 left in the third quarter. The 6-foot-5 Burch-Manning was a matchup nightmare for Curtis’ small lineup and scored 19 points before halftime.
More importantly, the senior acted as a calming presence against the Vikings’ full-court, aggressive press. Curtis quickly went to work, eventually tying the game with 3:30 left on a bucket by Tory Causey.
Beamer regained control briefly, but freshman Marcus Stephens tied the score at 73 on two free throws with 53.8 seconds remaining. Both teams had multiple chances at the go-ahead shot, but three combined turnovers and two missed shots sent the game into extra time.
“[That game] told us that we totally believe and trust in each other,” said Bogdon Bliznyuk, who led the Titans with 23 points. “That people can come in, people can step up. That every single player on that bench can get in that game and contribute and help us win.”
Aushanti Potts-Woods scored 33 points for Curtis.