At halftime of the first round boys game between Benedictine and Hopewell in the Times-Dispatch Invitational Tournament, there was no inkling of the classic confrontation about to unfold. In fact, as the Benedictine team dejectedly headed to the locker room, you could hear the frustration as teammates were not exactly friendly to each other.
A team expected to go far in the season, the Cadets saw Hopewell go on a 20-6 run on their home floor for a 33-20 halftime lead. Justin Henry had but two of their twenty points. But Henry was just getting started.
Justin ended up leading Benedictine with 35 points, but the Cadets still trailed by nine after three quarters. A 23-14 run erased that margin and forced overtime with the host Blue Devils. The fun was just beginning.
On an inbounds pass with twelve seconds left in overtime, the Cadets found Henry, who nailed a three-pointer to force a second overtime in the final seconds at 74-74. Henry was everyone. Working the boards, diving for loose balls as both teams desperately looked for a way to win. Benedictine's Gibson Jimerson nailed a big trey in the second overtime for an 81-80 lead, but Hopewell found a way to force the third extra session, tying the game, then watched as Benedictine missed a potential game-winner, sending the game to its third overtime at 83-83.
Travonte Jones found himself open in the corner with 35 seconds left for a three-pointer to give Hopewell an 91-89 led. But Henry saved the best for last, calmly draining a 27-foot three-pointer with 22 seconds left for the eventual game-winner, and Benedictine survived their trip to the Tri-Cities with a 92-91 triple overtime victory.
In a season that had its fair share of disappointment for Benedictine basketball, for one night, the Cadets stood on top.
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