Khalil Gracey, Bloomfield Hills Lahser, goes up for a shot over Joey Warner, Birmingham Brother Rice, during boys cage action at Lahser Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. Gracey would eventually hit a last second three-point shot to win the game. (Special to The Oakland Press / Larry McKee)
Basketball - Boys
BOYS BASKETBALL: Gracey hits game-winner to send Knights past Brother Rice
BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Khalil Gracey wanted the ball and Bloomfield Hills Lahser head coach Duane Graves gave it to him.
It was the right call.
Gracey, the Knights sophomore forward, found nothing but the bottom of the net on a 3-pointer from the right wing with one second left on the clock to send Lahser to a dramatic 46-45 victory over Birmingham Brother Rice in non-conference boys basketball action from Tuesday night.
“I wanted the coaching staff to call my number and when they did I was ready,” the silky-smooth Gracey said of the final play that led to his game-winner. “They drew it up for me and I just did what I was supposed to do. I knew I could hit the shot and my teammates and coaches had faith in me to take the shot. I’m just happy it all worked out and we walked away with the win.”
This was the second straight game Brother Rice has lost on a last-second three-point shot.
Lahser was in front for most of the first three quarters on Tuesday before the visiting Warriors got hot, ending the third quarter on an 11-5 run and taking a 38-36 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The game-winner by Gracey gave the Knights their only lead of the contest’s final stanza.
“That was simply a great shot by Khalil and a great game by both teams all the way around,” Graves said. “This team is very talented, but we’re still young and learning on the fly in a lot of ways. A win like this can go a long way in the teaching process.”
The up-and-coming Knights, sporting a roster with three of the best sophomores in Oakland County in Gracey, point guard Armand Cartwright and center Yante Maten, improve their record to 4-1 overall on the year as a result of the satisfying triumph.
With Cartwright (six points, four assists), one of the area’s top scoring threats, being held in check for most of the night, Gracey, Maten and junior swingman Martez Jones stepped up big for Lahser.
Maten registered a double-double of 13 points and 15 rebounds. Jones also scored 13 points and chipped in with four assists and four steals. In addition to his climatic 3-pointer, Gracey had six rebounds, three assists and three steals, as well as a one-handed jam on a drive of the lane in the third quarter that got the overflowing home crowd into a state of frenzy.
“The basketball gods just haven’t been with us lately,” said an emotionally drained Brother Rice head coach Ed Shaffer, whose squad fell to 0-4 with the defeat.