BEAR CREEK — Jamieon Degraffenreaidt’s two free throws with 7.6 seconds left in the third overtime period broke the 14th and final tie of the evening as Chatham Central managed to ease past …
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BEAR CREEK — Jamieon Degraffenreaidt’s two free throws with 7.6 seconds left in the third overtime period broke the 14th and final tie of the evening as Chatham Central managed to ease past Chatham Charter 66-64 in a key matchup of Central Tar Heel 1A Conference front-runners Tuesday night in Gerald L. Binkley Gymnasium.
The outcome left both teams at 9-2 in the league standings and in a three-way tie for first place with Research Triangle with one week to go in the regular season.
Winning their fifth game in a row, the Bears improved to 10-7 overall and now lead the all-time series with their county rival 8-4, while the Knights had their nine-game win streak snapped in losing for just the second time in 24 outings.
Michael Moore poured in a game-high 27 points for the victors while Degraffenreaidt chipped in 17 points along with 10 of his team’s 34 rebounds.
Chatham Charter’s Jordan Hamilton also notched a double-double with 18 points and 10 of the Knights’ 29 boards. A.J. Alston and Connor Murphy finished with 15 points each for the visitors while Cole Milholen added 10.
While both teams shot 43 percent from the field, Chatham Central sank six-of-23 attempts from behind the bonus arc and was 14-of-20 from the charity stripe, whereas Chatham Charter hit three-of-eight tries from three-point range but converted just 11-of-30 attempts from the foul line.
Degraffenreaidt’s conventional three-point play with 2:33 to go in the opening stanza put Chatham Central up 10-5 before Alston’s trey from the right corner and two free throws pulled the Knights even a minute later.
After the Bears regained the lead on a Lucas Skertich three-pointer from the right wing with 32 seconds remaining in the initial frame, Chatham Charter reeled off seven unanswered points to seize a 17-13 advantage with 6:07 left in the first half.
Then after Chatham Central reclaimed the lead at 24-22 on Degraffenreaidt’s trey from the right wing with 1:29 to go until intermission, the Knights went ahead 27-25 on Hamilton’s layup 22 seconds prior to halftime before a Skertich layup eight seconds later sent the teams into the break tied at 27-all.
A nip-and-tuck third quarter ended with Chatham Charter up 37-35, and following Baggio Rodriguez’s layup that gave the Knights a 47-41 advantage with 4:25 remaining in regulation play, the Bears rallied to send the contest into overtime when Moore’s turnaround jumper in the lane with six seconds to go forged a 52-all standoff.
After Hamilton’s drive off the right baseline with 1:59 left in the first extra session extended the game tied at 56-all, Moore’s two free throws with 24 seconds to go in the second OT knotted the count at 62-apiece to force a third overtime.
Milholen and Hamilton then both hit one-of-two free throw attempts to give the Knights a 64-62 lead midway through the third extra period, but Moore’s turnaround bucket in the paint with 1:53 left would set the stage for Degraffenreaidt’s game-winning charity tosses.