D’Angelo Lee has hit a few clutch shots that have helped get his team back into games late.
Never before had the Waverly senior hit a shot that vaulted his team to victory.
That was until Tuesday.
Lee drained a 3 in the closing seconds that lifted the Warrior boys basketball team to a 57-56 victory over Detroit Douglass in a Holiday Hoops Invitational contest at Lansing Community College’s Gannon Gym.
“My coach said this is a big deal for my confidence, and it brought it up,” Lee said. “I’m just happy I could help my team, and I want to continue to do this for the rest of the season.”
The shot by Lee, which came on the left wing, were his only points Tuesday. And it helped Waverly overcome what was an eight-point deficit with just under three minutes remaining.
“D’Angelo he’s in and out of the lineup and we’re trying to get him more minutes,” Waverly coach Craig Fields said. “This is huge for his confidence and our confidence as coaches.”
The Warriors trailed two when they in-bounded the ball near their bench with 5.9 seconds left. Jaden Sutton received the in-bounds pass and dribbled toward the center of the court where he found Lee open. He dished the ball to Lee, who knocked down the shot.
“I knew it was good because he’s a good shooter,” said Waverly senior Emmanuel Gildo, who was named to the all-tournament team after scoring 18 points and grabbing seven rebounds. “He doesn’t really play much so it was really good to see him hit the game-winning shot for us.”
Cameron Houston added 12 points off the bench for Waverly, which won its fourth straight and improved to 5-2.
Kelly Broadus had 15 points, including 13 in the second half, to lead Detroit Douglass (1-5). The Hurricanes led 51-43 with under three minutes remaining after back-to-back baskets by Brian Wells. But that’s when Waverly rallied back behind Giildo, who had five points in the final 2:12.
Fields said Tuesday’s comeback win, combined with Waverly capturing the title at the Kalamazoo Loy Norrix tournament last week, provides his team with a boost as it gets back into CAAC Red play next week.
“(This is) huge,” Fields said. “Winning is fun and they’re having a lot of fun right now. We didn’t play our best today and somehow we got a win. That’s what we want to do. We want to win ball games.”
Contact Brian Calloway at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.