Free Throws Seal New Hempstead's GHSA 4A Region 3 Title Over Benedictine

By Jeff Moeller/Special to Prep Sports Report | February 17, 2024

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Ja’Cari Glover spent some time at the local YMCA Friday afternoon, and he shot 200 free throws in anticipation of his team’s Class 4A Region 3 championship home game against Benediction in the evening. 

The New Hempstead sophomore forward acknowledged that he made roughly half of them. 

At approximately 10:30 p.m. Friday night, Glover’s persistence paid off a huge dividend for the Phoenix. 

Glover’s two free throws with 4.5 seconds left in the game lifted the Phoenix (21-5, 10-0) to their 14-straight victory in a 68-64 victory over the visiting Cadets and delivered them the title.  
It was a fitting end for Glover and his teammates, who have made their share of adjustments to gain a spot in the GHSA Class 4A state tournament. 
“It was a lot of pressure, but I work on my free throws a lot,” said the sophomore forward, who had five points, three on foul shots. “I shot a lot of free throws today, and I worked on some under pressure. 
“We have been through a lot this season. No one really believed in us being a number one seed. We battled against BC, and we came out for that trophy. We have been working hard, and it showed tonight.” 
Benedictine( 14-7, 7-3), which entered the game winners of 12 of their last 15 games,  staged a 13-4 run down the stretch to take a 62-60 lead on LaDon Bryant’s free throw with 1:44 remaining.  
New Hempstead’s Kentavious Woodberry then tied the game on a reverse layup with 1:24 left in the game. Teammate Toland Daughtrey then gave the Phoenix a slim 64-62 lead on a pair of free throws with 55.9 seconds left. 
Benedictine’s Caleb Jones – who led all scorers with 32 points – brought the Cadets to 64-63 on a free throw, but Daughtreys’ jumper in the corner upped their advantage to 66-63 with 24.2 ticks on the clock.  
Jones converted one of two free throws with 6.1 seconds left, and his three-point attempt in the closing seconds was wide. The junior had 20 points after halftime, 10 from the foul line. 
New Hempstead jumped out to a 16-9 lead after one quarter, but they only had a 28-27 halftime lead. The Phoenix build a 50-43 lead after three quarters despite being plagued with being in the bonus with team fouls. As a result, Benedictine sank 10 of their 16 third-quarter points from the free-throw line. 

Freshman guard Jeffrey Williams, the coach’s son, led the Phoenix with 16 points, 10 in the opening half. He paced a balanced attack, with Rashawn Truell adding 15, Woodberry 13, and Daughtrey 10. 
The younger Williams was seeking some revenge against Benedictine despite his team winning their first two meetings by a point apiece. Williams and Woodberry – who scored his team’s first nine points – both helped energize the Phoenix and the early lead. 
“I thought they disrespected me the last time we played them and said some things,” quipped Williams, who had six points in the opening stanza. “I told my team we had to come out and play hard from the start.  
Williams also saw the culmination of a team that battled through their share of injuries this season. 
“We just have to keep playing together. We knew once we got our whole team back and jelled together that we would be hard to beat.” 
His father, Jeffrey, echoed his son’s sentiments and realized his contributions. 
“All season long, we would have one starter or two starters missing,” said the elder Williams. “We had a next-man-up mentality. The guys stepped up no matter what was going on. We have a lot of offensive talent here, and we had to identify ourselves. 
“I thought my son played well, and he didn’t play like a freshman. But to be a championship team, we knew we had to play hard defense and rebound the ball. We did those things and also played well offensively tonight.” 
Boys Basketball  
Benedictine................ ...9...18...16...21..-...64 
New Hempstead.......16...12...22.. 18..-..68 
Caleb Jones 32, LaDon Bryant 10, Matthews 8, Jackson 6, Washington 6, Lilly 2. 
Jeffrey Williams 16, RaShawn Truell 15, Woodberry 13, Daughtrey 10, Youmans 9, Glover 5. 
Records – Benedictine 14-7, 7-3; New Hampstead 21-5, 10-0 



Friday, February 16, 2024


GHSA Class 5A Region 1

Championship: Statesboro 39, Bradwell Institute 38


GHSA Class 4A Region 3

Championship: New Hampstead 68, Benedictine, 64


GHSA Class 3A Region 3 Semifinals

Savannah Country Day 56, Long County 53

Johnson 53, Calvary Day 50


GHSA Class 2A Region 3

Consolation: Brantley County 62, Windsor Forest 50



Consolation: Bryan County 64, Screven Co. 46

Championship: Savannah 59,  Woodville-Tompkins 55



District 2

At Bulloch Academy

Championship - St. Andrew’s 67, Frederica Academy 42



Region 6

Consolation: #2 Memorial Day 83, #4 Twiggs 31 



GHSA Class 6A Region 2

Consolation: Lakeside-Evans 51, South Effingham 36


GHSA Class 5A Region 1 Consolation: Bradwell Institute 44, Jenkins 29


GHSA Class 4A Region 3

Consolation: New Hampstead 67, Southeast Bulloch 13


GHSA Class 3A Semifinals

Calvary Day 74, Beach 57

Savannah Country Day 39, Liberty County 27


GHSA Class A-D1

Consolation: Screven County 60, Savannah 34

Championship: Bryan County 57, Metter, 47


GAPPS Class DI-A State Quarterfinals

The Habersham School 44, Central Christian 37



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