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Warriors' comeback keeps Brother Rice hoopsters rolling WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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BIRMINGHAM – With two and a half minutes to play in Friday’s clash on the boys basketball floor between Birmingham Brother Rice and Novi Detroit Catholic Central, things weren’t looking good for the host-Warriors. The expression “on the ropes and ready to fall” might best sum of the situation.

Catholic Central was on top 46-38, Brother Rice couldn’t hit the broadside of a bar from the field and Warriors head coach Ed Shaffer called a timeout to try and stop the proverbial bleeding.

“We were panicking and looked at the guys in the huddle and I said ‘we still have a chance here,’ I was still confident in my team.”

Why shouldn’t he have been? Shaffer’s troops are 7-1, pocketing their most recent win Friday evening in comeback fashion. Brother Rice rallied to force overtime and went on to collect a 59-53 victory.

The Warriors’ only blemish on their record this season so far is a narrow loss to East Kentwood, the No. 2 squad in the state in Class A, at a holiday tournament up in Grand Rapids last month.

Friday’s rally was filled with contributions from a wide-variety of players.

Brendan Smith came off the bench to make two critical steals and score a basket off an offensive rebound with 25 seconds left in regulation (his lone field goal of the night) that got Brother Rice to within a bucket behind at 46-44. Smith started at cornerback on the school’s football team this past fall.

Kevin Hayes, the Warriors star forward, backed up his marquee-billing Friday by recording an impressive double of 22 points and 12 rebounds and delivering huge in crunch time.

It was Hayes’ pair from the charity stripe with 11 ticks of the clock left that evened the score 46-46 and forced overtime. Then, Hayes notched two hoops in the extra session, the first which vaulted Brother Rice into an advantage on the scoreboard (50-49) the Warriors wouldn’t relinquish.

Moments earlier, Drew Gallagher drove baseline for a lay-up that gave Brother Rice its’ first lead of the game. Ryan Jordan, a senior co-captain, scored 11 points and Gallagher dropped in another 13. Gallagher and Dominic Downs sank contest-clinching free throws in the final seconds.

Senior shooting guard, Davis Feldman, another co-captain, had two clutch steals, played gritty defense on Catholic Central’s No. 1-scorer C.J. Baird (16 points) down the stretch and scored on transition just before the third-quarter buzzer. Feldman is inked to play baseball in college at Eastern Michigan.

"We pulled one out, we hung tough," Brother Rice head coach Ed Shaffer said. "We weren't shooting it well, but we played hard and in the end good things came from that."

Last Updated: 1/17/2015 2:13:56 AM EST

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