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Kingsway rallies in 2d half to nip Williamstown, 55-54

Troy Jenkins' layup hung on the rim, then dropped through for the winning basket.

Williamstown's Julian Martin (left) is fouled as he goes up for a shot by Kingsway's Troy Jenkins, who later scored the winning layup as time expired.
Williamstown's Julian Martin (left) is fouled as he goes up for a shot by Kingsway's Troy Jenkins, who later scored the winning layup as time expired.Read moreMICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer

Troy Jenkins' layup sat on the front of the rim for only a second.

It just seemed longer than that.

"It seemed like 10 minutes," Jenkins said.

When the ball finally fell through the hoop, Kingsway's comeback was complete and Jenkins' prophecy was fulfilled.

"I told myself I was going to make the winning shot," Jenkins said. "I had it in my head that I was going to do it."

Jenkins' up-and-under layup off a sweet feed from Rondell Gilmore lifted Kingsway to a 55-54 victory over Williamstown on Wednesday night in a frantic finish to a Tri-County Royal Division boys' basketball game.

Jenkins, a senior forward, scored 13 as Kingsway rallied from three daunting deficits: 14 points at halftime, 10 early in the fourth quarter, and five in the final 40 seconds.

Gilmore, a senior guard, scored 11 points and added four assists. Senior forward Jordan Fagan scored 11 and junior forward Brad Fagan came off the bench to score 10 for Kingsway (3-0, 3-0), the No. 9 team in South Jersey in The Inquirer Top 10.

Senior guard Curtis Hopkins scored 15 and senior guard Julian Martin added 13 for Williamstown (2-1, 2-1).

"We did a lot of good things, but at the end we've got to be able to close it out," Williamstown coach Bill Hunt said. "Both teams played really hard. I knew Kingsway was going to make a run."

Williamstown built a 34-20 halftime lead behind Hopkins, Martin, and 6-foot-6 senior forward Alssene Saintilus.

"We were lackluster in the first half, and that's not to take anything away from Williamstown," Kingsway coach George Passante said.

Kingsway rallied in the third quarter as Brad Fagan hit a pair of three-pointers and Jordan Fagan hit another three-pointer. Gilmore also hit a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter.

"They hit some deep, deep threes," Hunt said.

Williamstown appeared to weather the storm as Hopkins, who has committed to Division II Goldey Beacom, made a pair of jumpers, and Saintilus and Jaleel Robinson made baskets to give the Braves a 54-44 lead with about four minutes to play.

But Jordan Fagan hit another three-pointer and Kingsway turned up the defensive pressure. Jenkins' layup cut the deficit to 54-51 with 0:35 on the clock, and Gilmore sank two free throws after a Jenkins steal to make it 54-53 with 20 seconds to go.

Williamstown missed the front end of a one-and-one with 5.7 seconds to play. Kingsway got the rebound and called time-out with 4.7 seconds remaining.

"We've practiced that play for four years," Passante said of the design in the huddle. "We want to get the ball to Rondell on the move, get some shooters on the wings, and get somebody under the basket."

Gilmore took the inbounds pass from Jordan Fagan and raced downcourt. He was surrounded by three defenders near the foul line but dished inside to Jenkins, who went up on the left side of the rim and deposited a layup off the backboard on the right side.

The ball sat on the front of the rim as the buzzer sounded.

Then it fell through.

"I asked Troy, 'Could you make it fall a little slower?' " Passante said.

Williamstown 16 18 10 10 – 54

Kingsway 13 7 18 17 – 55

W: Alssene Saintilus 9, Julian Martin 13, Curtis Hopkins 15, D'Shawn Haines 4, Jaleel Robinsin 8, Dave Mikanda 5.

K: Rondell Gilmore 11, Troy Jenkins 13, Kyler Grigsby 4, Jordan Fagan 11, Jaysen Conway 4, Julian Tention 2, Brad Fagan 10.