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Chaney erases late deficit to nip Harding

WARREN — Twelve lead changes and eight ties. Then the final 1:05 when the Chaney Cowboys erased a seven-point deficit to escape with a 74-73 victory over the Warren G. Harding Raiders on Friday night.

The Cowboys were sparked by Sharrod Taylor’s 33 points, with eight coming in that final stretch when he had four fouls and was seemingly unstoppable.

“He’s been doing that for us,” Chaney coach Marlon McGaughy said. “He leads us in scoring. He’s our leader. We have a team, though, where we try to get everyone involved. Everybody got involved tonight.”

That they did as six of Chaney’s eight players who saw action got into the scoring column in one of the more entertaining matchups of this 2020-21 basketball season.

Until Taylor’s performance in the final minute, the Raiders (0-2) seemed to have finally figured out the Cowboys (2-1), building out an 11-point lead at numerous stages in the fourth quarter with Taylor picking up his fourth foul with 4:23 left.

“I think we got fatigued,” Harding coach Keelyn Franklin said. “The guys played hard, but we got fatigued, and we kind of let the game get away from us mentally. As far as their pressure, they took advantage of that. They’re a good team. We made mistakes, and they took advantage of them.”

The Cowboys outscored the Raiders 10-2 in the final 1:05 with Taylor’s one-man show — benefitting from an assist by Davinci McDowell — being nearly unstoppable.

Also, Harding was 2-of-5 from the charity stripe during that time, which cost them in the end.

Chaney led 19-16 after one quarter and 34-31 at the half as the game began as one that seemed destined to be a final possession game.

Harding overcame a lot of what Chaney was throwing at them, press-wise, and kept themselves right there with the Cowboys.

“We pressed them a little bit,” McGaughy said. “We cause a lot of turnovers. Harding is well-coached and broke our press tonight. They got too many points over the top for layups. They were throwing the ball over our guards.”

Harding was paced by Dom Foster with 20 points. Tye Pennington had 15. Aston Bates and Tyriq Ivory each added 13.

“Offensively, I thought we played well,” Franklin said. “We definitely played better than we did Tuesday against Mooney. Ty’s our shooter. He’s one of the guys that we expect that when he gets open, he’ll take advantage and knock some down. It was good to see him knock those shots down.

“I thought Dom Foster attacking and getting out in transition was good to see and Aston Bates had some good finishes. Tyriq was getting in the paint and making some things happen.”

In the third quarter, the Raiders started finding success from the outside and down low and took their first lead since the second quarter with that game flow.

“I think both of us like to speed the game up, “Franklin said. “We would obviously not like to get scored on as much as we did, but when you have two good teams with really good athletes, you’re going to get a game like that. It was an entertaining game.

“I wish we would have come out on the other end. We gave up too many easy ones at the end.”

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