CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — It was a game of runs, but in the end the only points that mattered were the last second buzzer beater that lifted Northwest High past University School of Nashville in a boys varsity basketball game Monday night at Willard Ross Memorial Gym.
Former Clarksville High standout Tariq Silver drilled a turnaround baseline jumper from about 10 feet to push the Vikings past USN, 54-52, sending the Vikings crowd into a frenzy.
“We knew with Tariq’s 6-foot-5 size that we could screen him down on the block and let him go to work,” Northwest boys coach Vincent Turner said. “We had our other guard ready for a pick-and-pop, but the play was designed for Tariq to get a shot off. He was able to post up on a smaller opponent and take advantage of that size, and he had to hit a shot at some point (Monday) night.”
The win nearly didn’t happen for Northwest, who turned turned the ball over on its previous possession. But the University School of Nashville made the same mistake while trying to take advantage of the Vikings’ miscue. Northwest called a timeout with 8.9 seconds remaining and set up Silver’s shot that he drained as time expired.
Silver finished with nine points on an otherwise off night for the CHS transfer.
“We had faith in him,” Turner said. “He wasn’t going to miss all night long.”
Christian Choice led Northwest with 11 points, including eight rebounds while Correal Murray added 10 in the victory.
Northwest weathered the hot shooting of the Tigers, who connected on 10 3-pointers. Tevin Burdette cashed in on four of those 10 triples and led all scorers with 16 points. Drew Dibble had 13 in the loss.
Burdette had eight straight points midway through the third quarter that gave the Tigers a 36-30 lead with 4:28 left in the period. But Northwest would score the final 11 points of the third. Silver ignited the run with a 3-pointer from the wing while Isaiah McCoin completed a three-point play with 2:18 remaining to tie the game at 37-37. When the third quarter ended, Northwest had erased its six-point deficit, turning it into a 41-37 advantage.
“We knew we were going to have our hands full because USN is a very focused, skilled and well-coached team,” Turner said. “They are a disciplined group of players, and I felt that maybe our height advantage would be the difference; so I wanted to try to beat them up in the paint.”
Northwest made it a priority to get the ball in the post with hopes of reaching the foul line after reaching the stripe only twice in the first half. The Vikings got to the line eight times in the second half, converting on nine opportunities for the game.
Northwest opened up a 45-37 lead early in the final quarter after back-to-back buckets from Choice. But the Tigers came roaring back using a 7-0 spurt to close within 45-44 with 3:04 left in the game.
Both teams traded baskets for the next two minutes before USN had a chance to take the lead for good after a Vikings miss sailed out of bounds with 28 seconds left and the score tied at 52. But on the ensuing inbounds play, the Tigers were called for five-seconds turning the ball back over to Northwest.
Reach Prep writer George Robinson at 931-245-0747 and on Twitter @Cville_Sports.