West Jefferson controlled much of the first and second half in its game at Landry-Walker on Friday.
However, Landry-Walker finished each half with a flurry, most importantly in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter in taking a key 57-46 District 9-5A victory.
The win gave the Charging Buccaneers (14-7, 6-0), the two-time Class 4A champions, their third consecutive district championship heading into its final game against Grace King.
West Jefferson ended 9-5A play at 17-9, 5-2.
“We just stayed aggressive and didn’t get out of character,” Landry-Walker guard Lamar Peters said. “Our point guard, Lamont Berzat, kept his composure, and our center, Keytoan Thompson, played hard on the boards.”
West Jefferson led 42-40 with 5:16 left after Ray Anderson dunked then drove an passed to Kyle Pollar for a basket on consecutive possessions.
After a timeout, Peters sank a 3-pointer that launched Landry-Walker on a game-sealing 10-1 run.
Landry-Walker went into halftime with a 25-20 lead after ending the second quarter on an 11-0 run. Trailing 20-14 with 3:05 left in the second, the Charging Bucs became more aggressive and physical defensively.
After Landry-Walker pullled to 20-17 with 2:10 left, guard Khalil Williams took over. He drove for a basket with 52.8 seconds showing. At the 35.6 mark, he stole the ball from West Jeff’s Casey Ransaw and was fouled.
A technical foul was called after West Jeff protested that Ransaw had been fouled on the steal. Williams made the first foul shot, and L-W got the ball back. Williams then sank a 3-pointer.
Peters drove for a layup with 4.6 seconds remaining after making a steal, completing the run.
West Jefferson made its first two shots in taking a 5-0 lead, and kept Landry-Walker off its rhythm by shadowing Peters with a defender, forcing other Charging Bucs to handle the ball and score.
West Jeff led 13-12 at the end of the first quarter before building its second-quarter lead with offensive rebounding, most notably center Coley Ransaw.