JAMES CITY—— After he almost lost the game for his team, Prince Edward's Jason Johnson went to the bench expecting a blast from his coach. He said he was "scared."
Instead, he listened to coach James Scott tell him these seven words: "Jason, you're going to win the game."
Obviously said to boost Johnson's spirits, Scott's words proved quite prophetic when Johnson did just that. His turnaround jump shot with two seconds left lifted Prince Edward past dazed Warhill 65-64 in the Region I Division 3 quarterfinals.
The Lions came back from significant deficits several times, including 49-39 in the third quarter and 59-52 with six minutes left in the game.
"The kids played a great game," Warhill coach Justin Hayes said.
On the last sequence, the Lions (17-9) led 64-63. Prince Edward's Shon Goode rebounded Denard Dickens' missed free throw with 20.5 seconds left and Johnson wound up with the ball. But while working for the potential game-winning shot, he lost control of his dribble and the ball went out of bounds with 5.4 seconds left next to the Prince Edward basket.
Warhill called time to set up an inbounds play. The idea was to throw a lob pass over the defense — a Hail Mary sort of pass, to borrow a football term — or get the ball to a cutting guard if the long pass wasn't open.
Chris Aldridge made the long pass, but Prince Edward's Antonio Scott intercepted it at half-court, and, almost in the same motion, slung the ball to Johnson at the foul line.
"Just get the shot off," Johnson said of the moment.
The end was so frustrating for Warhill, which went 1-21 in the school's first year, then 17-9 this season. The season ended one game shy of playing for a berth in the state tournament.
"For our second year, that's a hell of a year," Hayes said. "And we hosted a regional-tournament game."
Stefan Walker led Warhill with 19 points. Dickens had 16 and Walter Moyler 15.
Cornell Little had 20 for Prince Edward, and Johnson scored 15.
PRINCE EDWARD 65, WARHILL 64
PRINCE EDWARD (17-9): Davis 10, Johnson 15, Little 20, Scott 8, Randall 2, Goode 10. Totals 27 7-12 65.
WARHILL (17-9): Moyler 15, Dickens 16, Walker 19, Beck 2, James 2, Aldridge 6, Berkley 4. Totals 24 13-25 64.
16221512 — 65
17201314 — 64
3-point goals — Prince Edward 4 (Davis 2, Little 2), Warhill 3 (Moyler, Dickens, Berkley). Fouled out — Davis. Total fouls — Prince Edward 20, Warhill 10. Technical — Adkins (Prince Edward).