PICKERING – Pickering would need to play a near perfect game to knock off an undefeated Grand Lake team, and the Red Devils got close to picking up the win.
Junior guard DeShawn Jackson made big plays down the stretch for a game-high 46 points, but Pickering fell 83-80 in double overtime Thursday night at home.
"We missed opportunities," Pickering head coach Brandon Jordan said. "We should have won the game. We had a lead after the first quarter, down at halftime and down going into the fourth. But, playing at home, we had the momentum."
Jackson attacked the rim throughout the contest, putting Grand Lake in foul trouble, and hit four 3 pointers in the two overtimes.
"There was no doubt tonight who the best player on the floor was," Jordan said. "I will put him against any player in this area, hands down.
"Our bread and butter is attacking the basket. I tell the guys that if you attack the basket, it doesn't mean you always have to get to the basket. That's where you aim. If someone gets in your way, you have to adjust. DeShawn does that better than anybody. He's slippery and quick."
Trailing by 2 with just over a minute to go in regulation, Jackson took a rebound coast-to-coast to tie it up at 61-61.
"I challenged him tonight," Jordan said about his guard. "He's such a good scorer that I try to save his legs for offense. He can play defense, and I gave him a chance to do that. I heard (Kael Delcambre) was their guy, and I told DeShawn that he was his guy."
The Hornets ran down the clock to 15 seconds and were fouled, but guard Aaron Young could not convert on a 1-and-1 to end the game.
"(Grand Lake head coach Mark) Caldwell is such a good coach," Jordan said. "They lucked into some players from South Cameron, but he's such a good coach. He's a second-generation coach, just like me. He got it down to 15 seconds, just like he wanted. They were disciplined and structured. We are not, but it's on purpose. I like a little chaos, because the other team doesn't know what we are going to do."
The Red Devil fell behind early in the first overtime period, but Jackson drilled a contested 3 with 35 seconds left to tie it up. Once again, Grand Lake was unable to get a bucket on the other end.
In double overtime, the Hornets went on a 6-0 run to start the period, but back-to-back 3s from Jackson made it 75-74.
With a minute to go, Grand Lake took a 5-point lead, and Jackson, once again, nailed another 3 to pull within 2.
However, this time, the Hornets hit shots down the stretch to leave Pickering High School with the win.
"I've been building this game up all week," Jordan said. "I told them that Grand Lake is going to be the best team you play all year until you meet someone in the playoffs."
Marlon Freeney added 14 points, going 4-for-5 from deep, and Xavier Evans also finished with 14.