Fauquier faced just about every obstacle imaginable on Friday night.
The Falcons, playing their seventh game in 10 days, encountered a raucous crowd, a scorebook error, chippy play, a halftime deficit, and a late comeback by Kettle Run, all while fighting for middle-of-the-pack position in the Class 4 Northwestern District boys basketball playoffs.
But they still hung on beat the rival Cougars 57-51 in overtime on the road in Nokesville.
“You have to give credit to them,” Fauquier head coach Wayne Brizzi said. “They kept coming back.
“I thought both teams showed a lot of grit,” he said. “Anyone could have won that in overtime.”
The Falcons allowed 32 points for the Cougars’ phenomenal senior, Drew Tapscott, and Kettle Run blocked a Fauquier shot in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, but the Falcons’ performance in overtime was nothing short of inspirational. Kyle Dargis scored all four of his points in the extra period while Devin Lewis scored three of his 19 points and Thurman Smith added one of his 14 points.
Plus, Fauquier’s defense allowed only two points in the four-minute overtime before the Fauquier student section joyously rushed onto their rivals’ court upon the final whistle.
“That was a big win and we needed it,” Lewis said. “It was great to beat them here with their crowd.”
“We have been in that situation before, so we are used to it,” he said of overcoming obstacles. “We just continued to fight hard.”
The Falcons dominated the overtime session by only allowing two points for Tapscott. So Kettle Run's record fell to 6-8 in the district and 8-11 overall while Fauquier to 7-7 and 12-8.
In fact, the Falcons have won three consecutive Northwestern games -- four overall -- to give them the No. 5 seed in the district tournament with a quarterfinals game against No. 4 Liberty.
“We have been fighting and we have been pretty gritty coming down the stretch here,” Brizzi said. “So anything can happen in the postseason. Hopefully we will keep this momentum going.”
Against the Cougars, Fauquier took 1 47-42 lead in the fourth quarter, but Tacpscott made a long 3-pointer before finagling his way through the Fauquier defense for an incredible layup to tie the game 49-49 in the waning seconds.
“The kid is going to play his heart out,” Cougars coach Christian Yancey said. “Whether we win or lose I know that Drew and all of my kids are going to give me 110 percent.”
Lewis then tried to shake free for a heroic game-winner for Fauquier, but Garrett Trimble rejected his shot to send the teams into overtime.
“I’ve known Garrett Trimble since he was a little kid and this was a moment he shines for,” Yancey said. “He is a defensive specialist and he came through.”
Earlier, Kettle Run opened the game on a 7-0 run and kept Fauquier scoreless until halfway through the first quarter when Evan Jackson (eight points) scored a layup that was quickly followed by a 3-pointer from Smith.
“We have to move the ball to get open shots,” Smith said, “and that is what we did.”
Smith made three 3-pointers in the first half to eventually give the Falcons a lead.
“When Thurman gets hot like that it makes a big difference,” Brizzi said. “We were kind of struggling there and he hit those 3-pointers that gave us a breath of fresh air and room to wiggle.”
But, midway through the second quarter, a scoring error in Fauquier’s favor caused a prolonged pause in play after a three-point by Tapscott. After the officials deliberated at halftime, the error was over-corrected to give the Cougars an extra unwarranted point, according to several scorebooks.
So the official score was set at 26-24 in favor of the Falcons.
Then Tapscott, who had 11 points in the first half, dominated the third quarter with 12 points, including a late three-point play that tied the score at 42-42 headed to the fourth.
“We just try to make him work for every shot and not give him anything easy,” Brizzi said. “It is really hard to watch him,”
But Fauquier compensated with seven players scoring over the final 12 minutes.