There are too many memories for Diego Robinson to count within the walls of Earvin “Magic” Johnson Gymnasium at Everett High School. It’s the place that paved the way to the Breslin Center, twice, for the senior during his high school basketball career.
Robinson laced them up for the last time on his home floor Friday night, and he made sure his final memory was a good one.
The senior forward scored a team-high 15 points to help Everett grab a CAAC Blue overtime win over Jackson, 60-51, and pick up its second straight victory heading into the final week of the regular season.
“I have a lot (of memories),” Robinson said. “I wanted this to be memorable.”
FRIDAY NIGHT HOOPS:
It took a senior effort for Everett (11-8, 8-6) to pull out the victory Friday night.
After the ball game was tied at 27 going into the half, it looked as if Jackson (8-11, 5-9) was going to start pulling away when its 7-2 run to start the third quarter gave the team a five-point lead. Robinson went on to score Everett’s next four field goals and help put his team in position to go into the fourth quarter tied at 40.
“I felt like I had to rebound,” said Robinson, who scored 14 of his 15 points in the second half of regulation. “Scoring doesn’t really matter. I just want to win. I had to do what I had to do to help my team win.
“I just try to have energy every game.”
Jackson had an opportunity to win the game in regulation, but Robinson drew a charge on Jackson’s Shonte Suddeth as he attacked the rim with three seconds remaining. Everett had the final shot to avoid overtime, but a half-court heave went wide.
In overtime, Everett held its conference foe scoreless, and the ball club was spearheaded by senior guard Nyreel Powell. Powell, who injured his foot in the first quarter, scored six of his seven points in overtime, including Everett’s first five.
“This being my senior night, I felt like I had to leave a statement here,” Powell said. “I felt me and all the seniors, in general, needed to make a statement. This was our last time playing in this gym, and we needed to go out with a bang.”
Senior guard Jalen Hayes allowed his team to bounce back from a slow first quarter — which, by the end, showed Everett trailing 14-6 — by scoring 11 of his 14 points in the second quarter. Hayes and junior Allen English, who scored 10 points, were able to answer Jackson’s first-half 3-point barrage by combining to knock down four 3s in the second quarter.
“Three- and four-year varsity players, and Diego Robinson stepped up big for us in that second half,” said Everett coach Desmond Ferguson, whose team reached the Class A state semifinals last season. “That helped us get the victory.
“We had goals throughout the season. Obviously, first, we wanted to win the conference. We can no longer do that. Next is districts and regionals, quarterfinals, and so on and so forth.
“The goal is to play our best basketball toward the end of the season.”
Contact James L. Edwards III at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.