It appeared that a three by Frederick Edmund to end the third quarter, giving Lansing Eastern an eight-point advantage, might propel the Quakers to a third consecutive district win over Okemos.
Chris Harrison-Docks, a sharp shooting senior guard and his Chieftains, however, “rolled” out a different plan and with it wrote a different ending.
“We’ve lost to Eastern the last two years in the district and I wasn’t going to let that happen my senior year,” Harrison-Docks explained. “It’s a long fourth quarter and we’ve been in those tight spots before. We knew we had to maximize each possession,” Harrison-Docks said.
The senior maximized his touches as he poured in 33 points in leading Okemos to a 72-62 Class A District title win over the Quakers in Magic Earvin Johnson’s Gymnasium at Lansing Everitt High School Friday night.
“That’s what he does. He pulls up and hits threes off that high screen and roll,” said Okemos boys basketball coach Dan Stolz. “I told the kids after Edmund hit a three to end the third quarter that there would be no excuses, no talk about a lucky shot to end the third quarter. They needed to go out and win the game.”
Okemos trailed 16-11 after the opening eight minutes of play, but the Chieftains battled back in the second quarter to tie the game 27-27 at half time.
Okemos trailed 48-40 to start the fourth quarter, but they rallied to tie the game at 57-57 when Harrison-Docks tickled the twine for the from beyond the arc.
“I am thrilled for our kids and how much they have come through. They have struggled and had adversity but never did they finger point. Instead, they played unselfishly,” Stolz explained.
Lansing Eastern had a shot to win the game in regulation, but Brian Morten Jr’s running short jumper in the lane rimmed softly off the iron with time expiring.
Overtime belonged to the Chieftains as they tallied seven unanswered points to start the extra four-minute period. The Quakers never got any closer than five points the rest of the way.
“We didn’t defend their high screen and roll. We gave Chris (Harrison-Docks) to much space and time,” said Lansing Eastern coach Rod Watts. “Okemos made shots tonight and we didn’t. We’re not folding up our tent, there is life after basketball.”
Edmund led all Quakers with 25 points. He went to the bench with four fouls early in the fourth quarter which happened to coincide with Okemos’ 8-0 run.
“He is one of the best players in the state and I thought Hared Motley did a terrific job defensively on him,” Stolz said. ” We can’t be satisfied with this. We have a tough game Monday night in Portage (against Niles). We play in a tough league (Capitol Area Athletic Conference – Blue Division) which I believe has prepared us well for the tournament.”