Parker’s free throw punches Caravel’s championship game ticket

Parker’s free throw punches Caravel’s championship game ticket

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Parker’s free throw punches Caravel’s championship game ticket

Final seconds of Caravel boys victory
O’Koye Parker fouled with 2.4 seconds left, hits free throw to give Caravel 48-47 win over St. Thomas More in DIAA semifinals.
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Caravel players and fans celebrate following their 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy's State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

Caravel players and fans celebrate following their 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy’s State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

NEWARK – Moments after scoring his 1,000th career point, Caravel junior guard O’Koye Parker needed at least one more to keep the Buccaneers’ Cinderella story going for at least one more game.

Parker hit the second of two free throws with 2.4 seconds left, lifting 19th-seeded Caravel to a heart-stopping 48-47 win over No. 2 St. Thomas More in Thursdays night’s state semifinal at the Bob Carpenter Center.

“I take very slow steps at a time because you can’t panic,” said Parker, who scored a game-high 25 points. “You have to have a good pace. I like putting my team on my shoulders and that’s what I did.”

“It’s hard to put the emotions into words,” Buccaneers head coach Mark Tobin said. “These young guys came to play. That’s a good team we played and the way we kept our composure was impressive.”

Caravel (18-6) also got key contributions from sophomore guard Trevon Alderman (10 points) and a heroic effort from 5-10 forward Brandon Senghphachanh, who grabbed eight rebounds among the trees.

“Brandon’s the heart and soul of this team,” Parker added. “He’s not scared of the big moment at all.”

“It’s all about hustle – you can outwork anybody,” Senghphachanh explained. “I’m just out there to work hard and rebound and that’s what I did.”

Caravel's O'Koye Parker hits the game-winning free throw in the second half of Caravel Academy's 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy's State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

Caravel’s O’Koye Parker hits the game-winning free throw in the second half of Caravel Academy’s 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy’s State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

St. Thomas More (19-4) rallied from eight down in the third quarter to take a 45-43 lead on an Eric Montanez layup with 2:06 to go in the game. A couple of possessions later, Parker streaked down the floor for his milestone basket to tie the game.

“I’m just so grateful. God is good,” Parker said. “I couldn’t do it without my teammates, coaches and parents. To do it in front of my friends and family is crazy.”

Parker saved his best for last as he drew a foul on Corey Gordon in the final seconds and after missing the first, nailed the second foul shot. Gregory Bloodsworth’s half-court attempt was long and the Buccaneers advanced to play Smyrna.

O'Koye Parker reacts as his teammates celebrate following their 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy's State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

O’Koye Parker reacts as his teammates celebrate following their 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy’s State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

“It’s going to be a very good game,” Parker said. “We’re going to come out hard and ready to win.”

“Seeding doesn’t mean anything in the tournament – we’re going in there to have fun,” Sengphachanh said.

Gordon led the Ravens with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Caravel players and fans celebrate following their 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy's State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

Caravel players and fans celebrate following their 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy’s State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

Caravel players celebrate following their 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy's State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

Caravel players celebrate following their 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy’s State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

Caravel's O'Koye Parker puts up a shot in front of St. Thomas Moore's De'Markus Lee in the second half of Caravel Academy's 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy's State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

Caravel’s O’Koye Parker puts up a shot in front of St. Thomas Moore’s De’Markus Lee in the second half of Caravel Academy’s 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy’s State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

St. Thomas More's Kexxer Comarco (left) and Caravel's Mandela Montgomery (right) fight for rebound position on a free throw in the first half of Caravel Academy's 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy's State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

St. Thomas More’s Kexxer Comarco (left) and Caravel’s Mandela Montgomery (right) fight for rebound position on a free throw in the first half of Caravel Academy’s 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy’s State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

St. Thomas More's Eric Montanez has his shot blocked from behind by Caravel's Brandon Sengphachanh in the first half of Caravel Academy's 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy's State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

St. Thomas More’s Eric Montanez has his shot blocked from behind by Caravel’s Brandon Sengphachanh in the first half of Caravel Academy’s 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy’s State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

Caravel's O'Koye Parker puts up a shot in the first half of Caravel Academy's 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy's State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

Caravel’s O’Koye Parker puts up a shot in the first half of Caravel Academy’s 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy’s State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

Caravel's O'Koye Parker celebrates after hitting a three in the second half of Caravel Academy's 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy's State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

Caravel’s O’Koye Parker celebrates after hitting a three in the second half of Caravel Academy’s 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy’s State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

Caravel's Bradley Kaden puts up a shot over St. Thomas More's Alvin West in the first half of Caravel Academy's 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy's State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

Caravel’s Bradley Kaden puts up a shot over St. Thomas More’s Alvin West in the first half of Caravel Academy’s 48-47 win over St. Thomas More Academy in the DIAA Boy’s State Basketball Tournament semi-finals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Thursday evening.

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