Wingate, N.C. - Josh Roper scored 20 points and Gaither Hendrix added 18 as the Tornados jumped out to an early 13-7 lead in the first half. However, Wingate went on 9-2 run to take the lead and led by 25 points by Odell Turner, the third-seeded Bulldogs ended the sixth-seeded Tornados season on Wednesday night in Cuddy Arena, 84-64.
Roper went six-of-17 from the floor in his final game with Brevard (13-14) in leading the Tornados with 20 points in the game. Hendrix added four assists and a pair of steals in addition to his 18 points and Josh Jordan pulled down a team high eight rebounds in limited action as the Tornados fell for the third time this season to the Bulldogs.
Wingate (18-9) advances to the 2011 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Semifinals at the CVCC Multipurpose Facility to take on seventh-seeded Catawba College after the Indians upset the Anderson Trojans 85-83 in the quarterfinals. Turner’s 25 points led the way for the Bulldogs, while Jaime Vaughn added 23 points and five assists as Wingate shot 40.9 percent (27-66) from the floor in the game.
The game went back and forth in the opening minutes of the first half as there was a lead change and two ties in the opening 2:57 of the contest. Turner opened the scoring with a layup off the assist from Vaughn, but Hendrix answered with a three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Tornados the 3-2 lead with 19:16 on the clock. A free throw tied the score up at three before the Tornados went on a run, building a 13-7 lead capped by a trey from Drew Schauss as Brevard built their largest lead of the first half.
Wingate would respond with a 9-2 run capped by a jumper by Vaughn to take a 16-15 lead at the 10:26 mark. The score would be knotted up five more times throughout the remainder of the half before the Bulldogs broke the game open with a 13-2 run spanning the final 4:13 of the first half, with Quan Alexander scoring six in the stretch to send the teams into the half with Wingate leading 42-31.
The Bulldogs scored eight of the first 10 points of the second half to take a commanding 50-33 lead as Vaughn and Ethan Kincaid drained treys. Brevard continued to battle back in the second half as Roper and Vincent Dombrowski combined for eight straight points at one stretch, cutting the score down to 64-51 with 10:01 to play.
This was the closest Brevard would be able to get as the Bulldogs responded with a 19-3 run, building their largest lead of the night at 29 points in closing out the game 84-64.
Tonight’s game represented the final contest for seniors Donald Hudson, Whitney Galloway, Josh Jordan and Josh Roper for the Brevard College Tornados and they leave the Tornados as part of the legacy of the first team to win a South Atlantic Conference Championship and reach the NCAA Regional tournament.
Jordan also finishes this season in the BC record book, finishing in the top ten in the single season leaders in rebounding, having breached this elite group in both offensive and defensive rebounds in a season, as well as total rebounds in a season. Roper also dots the BC record book, sitting in the top ten in multiple single game, single season and career records in various categories including: points, points per game, field goals, field goal attempts, field goal percentage, free throws, free throw attempts, free throw percentage, three-pointers made, three-pointers attempted, assists and steals.
Though Coach Jones and the Tornados lose this talented quartet of seniors, the future remains bright as the 2011-2012 season will see a battle-tested group, headlined by Gaither Hendrix, Vincent Dombrowski, Drew Schauss and Jermichael Tanner, look to make it three straight trips to the postseason, with an eye on next year’s South Atlantic Conference title.