In what was a basketball version of a Wild West shootout, the Buckingham Knights walked away with a narrow 68-67 win at Appomattox to remain undefeated at 10-0.
In what would prove to be the game-deciding play, an acrobatic mid-range 2-pointer by Appomattox guard Tyler Gilliam with 0.9 seconds remaining was waved off. The bucket would have given the Raiders a 69-68 lead but officials ruled that a Knights defender had fouled Gilliam before the shot attempt, thereby nullifying the play.
With Appomattox still in possession Gilliam made one last try on a jump shot with a defender in his face, but the ball bounced off the rim with no time left on the clock.
The atmosphere and noise level at the Appomattox County High School gymnasium was playoff-caliber, to say the least, with fans on both sides showing their passion for the rivalry.
Casey Scruggs led Appomattox with 17 points, followed by Jordan Scott with 16. Xavier Copeland and Gerry Toney led the Knights with 17 points each.
The Raiders drop to 3-2 but showed signs of being a team that can compete for the Dogwood District crown. Their season was delayed while a number of team members finished their Class 2 state championship football season.
Appomattox will square off against Dan River at home Friday night. Junior varsity begins play at 5:30 p.m., followed by varsity.
For the rest of the story, see the Jan. 15 edition of the Times Virginian.