Big plays late in the game lead to Lancaster championship win; Red Devils beat Spartans, 52-49

From left, assistant coaches Mark Saunders and Jason Williams, coach Tim Rice, assistant coach Javonte Smith and players Santese Ball, Christian Sutton and Terren Hardin count does a desperation three-point shot that didn’t fall at the buzzer.

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by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

Eastside High may have brought the big guys but Lancaster brought a lot of heart to the Group 1 boys basketball state championship at the VCU Siegel Center in Richmond last Friday.

“I can’t say enough about these boys and the drive they have to win,” said LHS coach Tim Rice.

The Red Devils also made the big plays down the stretch to keep them ahead of the Wise County team for a 52-49 final that gave Lancaster its second boys basketball championship in school history.

“There are schools that have just one,” said Rice. “I didn’t want us to be one of those. Sometimes it’s harder to get that next one.”

Lancaster got scoring from seven different players, including a team-leading 15 off the bench from sophomore Corey “CJ” Smith, who only joined the varsity roster a month ago. …