Arby's opening day has some thrills

By Matt Hill

   BRISTOL-- It's appropriate that Council High School in Virginia is nicknamed the Cobras. That's because Council superstar Brad Nuckles probably made the Tennessee High Vikings feel snakebitten Wednesday afternoon.
   Nuckles put the Cobras ahead to stay with 10 seconds to go in overtime as Council won a 57-53 thriller over the Vikings in the first round of the Arby's Classic.
   Tennessee High led most of the overtime, but Nuckles' clutch basket put the Cobras on top 54-53. The Cobras never looked back after that.
   Nuckles, who had 38 points on the day, gave credit to his brother, James Nuckles for the go-ahead play.
   "James set a good screen on the big guy on the low post," said the ETSU signee. "I took it all the way. I tried to draw some contact, which I knew I wouldn't get a foul either way because it was probably the last shot of the game. I just took it up strong, and luckily it went in."
   Council made its free-throws in the final seconds to secure the win.
   Tennessee High did give a valiant effort in this one, and sure made it interesting. The Vikings looked like they were going to lose 49-46 in regulation, as they missed two three-pointers in the final seconds.
   But the Vikings kept getting the offensive rebounds, and Steven Counts hit a desperation trey at the buzzer to send the game into the extra period.
   "That was really unexpected," Nuckles said.
   Counts and Derek Linkous topped Tennessee High in scoring with 15.
   L.A. Dorsey, CA.............. 66
   Anuj Sharma scored 22 points and dominated the post as the Indians upset the Dons.
   Sharma came up big on the boards, netting six offensive rebounds.
   "He's only about 6-2, but he played about 6-9 out there tonight," Dobyns-Bennett head coach Charlie Morgan said.
   L.A. Dorsey was very athletic, but the Indians had that team's number. Dobyns-Bennett never trailed in the basketball game.
   "I'm very proud of the guys," Morgan said. "They played with a lot of heart. We were outmatched at every spot, we just played."
   The Indians were up 66-54 with 4:45 left, but the Dons went on an 8-0 run in the next two minutes to cut the D-B lead to 66-62.
   But Dobyns-Bennett would not be denied, as Sharma came up big down the stretch to secure the victory.
   Henry Williams scored 18 for the Indians, while Azmar Blye added 15 for Dobyns-Bennett.
   Louisville Ballard, KY.................63
   Daniel Boone.............................51
   Louisville Ballard used a couple of second half spurts to knock off the Trailblazers.
   The Bruins were only ahead 39-36 midway through the third quarter, but an 8-0 run pushed their lead out to 47-36 with 2:12 to go in the frame.
   The Trailblazers rallied back to cut the Bruin advantage to 51-47 with 5:00 to go in the game, but Ballard outscored Daniel Boone 12-4 to end the game.
   "We're a team that can go through some pretty good spurts," Ballard head coach Chris Renner said. "Most of our spurts our based on our defense, and that allows us to really get in the flow offensively. I think that was a big key for us in the third quarter. It gave us a cushion and that's kind of what propelled us in the second half."
   Alex Hedges led Louisville Ballard with 15. Jeremy Helscel also had 15 to top Daniel Boone.
   Jack Hayward, Bahamas........45
   Gate City, Va.........................39
   Jack Hayward was in a dogfight most of the afternoon, but still never trailed en route to the victory.
   The Blue Devils cut Jack Hayward's lead to 39-35 with 2:59 left, but Marvin Gray hit a couple of clutch baskets to seal the deal for the Wildcats.
   "I know we're a much better team than we showed today," Jack Hayward head coach Ivan Butler said. "This is our first international tournament, so I think the guys had a lot of butterflies in their stomach."
   Gray topped the Wildcats with 20. Will Hubbard led the Blue Devils with seven.
   East Chapel Hill, NC.............89
   Sullivan East........................36
   The boys from tobacco road dominated against the Patriots, as East Chapel Hill led 52-20 at halftime and never looked back.
   Matt Everette and Mike Moldin had 12 points to lead a balancing scoring attack for East Chapel Hill. Adam Hughes netted 20 to top the Patriots.