SANFORD - The Cougars' four-game winning streak ended with an overtime loss to Southside Virginia Community College, 98-99 at the Dec. 5 home game.
The Panthers are two-time winning Virginia State Champions for their community college conference and this was the first meeting between the two programs.
The Cougars trailed at half-time 35-37 after falling behind by 10 in the early going. The team finally figured out the Panther attack and strong defense and shot blocking helped close the gap. The half ended with a flurry of fouls that led to a Panther 2-point advantage.
The second half opened with the Cougars playing strong team ball. Deinzel Greene (Central Piedmont) opened the half with a resounding dunk and the team put together a run that was generated by strong shot blocking and steals.
The widest margin was 12 points with 10 minutes to go. The Panthers had several runs of their own and cut the lead in the closing minutes going up by one with less than a minute in regulation.
With the game knotted at 84-84, the Cougars failed to get a basket and lost the ball out of bounds with 12.4 seconds remaining. Their defense held the Panthers to one long shot for the win, which carried long as time expired.
In overtime, both teams led with the largest margin at 3 by the Panthers. In the closing seconds, with the Cougars trailing by 3, Deinzel Greene put back a rebound and was fouled. Greene missed the free throw, and in the final 4.8 seconds, trailing 98-99, the Cougars had a couple shots that would not go in.
The crowd, the largest of the Cougars' season, gave the team an ovation for their play.
CCCC falls to 9-3 on the season and will play Saturday, Dec. 7, at Virginia Western C.C. to try for that elusive tenth win. The Cougars have never had 10 wins in the first half of a season.
The Cougars were led by Josh Lee (Southern Lee) and Greene, with 22 points, Julian Bailey (Cape Fear), with 18, and Kalon Buchanan (Hopewell), with 11. Bailey pulled down a season high 23 rebounds and was strong on the boards all night. Bailey and Buchanan fouled out late in the overtime period.
The game atmosphere was great. The Southern Lee High School Marching Band played pre-game and raised the crowd excitement. The athletic staff threw T-shirts and candy to the fans throughout the game as well. The fans were treated to a great game and a great event.
Deinzel Greene opens the second half of the Dec. 5 Central Carolina Community College versus Southside Virginia Community College game with a dunk off a Josh Lee steal to tie the score and spark a run. The hard-fought game went into overtime, where the Cougars lost 98-99.
Central Carolina Community College Men's Basketball Coach Doug Connor sets a play during a time-out late in the second half of the Dec. 5 Cougars versus the Southside Virginia Community College Panthers. The hard-fought game went into overtime, where the Cougars lost 98-99.