It might be the most difficult play in basketball, Collegiate senior Robbie Beran said Wednesday night. In the final seconds of its Times-Dispatch Invitational quarterfinal, Douglas Freeman needed to intentionally miss a free throw.

If everything had gone right for the Rebels, they would have missed the shot, snagged the rebound, scored the bucket and tied the game — all in 2.7 seconds.

Instead, the rebound landed in the hands of Collegiate’s Charles Geho, who chucked the ball to the other end of the court, ending the game. Collegiate held on for a tense 55-53 victory over No. 10 Douglas Freeman.

Collegiate (4-2) will face Highland Springs on Thursday at 8 p.m. at Hanover High School in the TDIT semifinals. Douglas Freeman (7-1) will oppose George Wythe at 1:30 in the consolation, also at Hanover.

With 16.1 seconds left in the game, Beran sank two free throws, putting Collegiate up 55-52. Freeman’s Michael Fortune attempted a 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left but was fouled on the shot. It wasn’t a bad strategy by Collegiate — force Fortune to make three shots instead of one. But it wasn’t the plan, coach Del Harris said afterward.

Fortune (12 points) went to the line and missed his first free throw, putting him behind the 8-ball. He made the second, keeping Freeman’s slim hopes alive. What came next, Geho said, is something basketball players never really practice.

“It’s tough to do,” Geho said. “The ball’s got to bounce off the rim and to your guy.”

It ricocheted to the left and almost into the outstretched hands of Freeman’s Christian Smith (12 points). But Geho’s hand wedged the ball out. In one quick motion, he brought the ball to his chest, then threw it to the other end of the court before he could be fouled.

“I put my whole body on him,” Geho said. “[The ball] fell in my hands.”

Beran, a senior who has committed to Northwestern, scored a game-high 18 points. Cody Patterson added 13. Caleb Kenney blocked four shots for the Rebels. Collegiate is without forward Ayinde Budd, a senior committed to play football at Delaware and an integral piece of the lineup.

“We’re learning our identity,” Geho said.

COLLEGIATE (4-2) — Jackson Watkins 6, Robbie Beran 18, Cody Patterson 13, Charles Geho 9, Mac McDonald 8, Hardy Wyatt 1. Totals: 24 6-13 55.

DOUGLAS FREEMAN (7-1) — Fortune 12, Smith 12, Niquion Moore 11, Abdselhadir 10, Mouktar Abdulkadir 9, Kenney 6, Omari DeVeaux 2. Totals: 20 6-11 53.

Collegiate 13 11 20 11 — 55

Douglas Freeman 13 14 8 18 — 53

3-point goals: — COLL: Robbie Beran 1 DF: Fortune 3, Niquion Moore 2, Mouktar Abdulkadir 2.

Boys schedule

Wednesday’s first round

  • Huguenot 88, Trinity Episcopal 85
  • Armstrong 68, St. Christopher’s 62
  • Collegiate 55, Douglas Freeman 53
  • Highland Springs 73, George Wythe 43

Thursday’s second round at Hanover High

  • Trinity Episcopal vs. St. Christopher’s, noon
  • Douglas Freeman vs. George Wythe, 1:30 p.m.
  • Huguenot vs. Armstrong, 6:30
  • Collegiate vs. Highland Springs, 8

Friday’s final round at Hanover

  • Seventh place, 10:30 a.m.
  • Fifth place, 1:30 p.m.
  • Third place, 5 p.m.
  • Championship, 8:30

Girls schedule

Wednesday’s first round

  • Trinity Episcopal 66, Hanover 27
  • Cosby 93, Hermitage 27
  • Monacan 72, Varina 48
  • Highland Springs 54, Steward 25

Thursday’s second round at Hanover High

  • Hanover vs. Hermitage, 9 a.m.
  • Varina vs. Steward, 10:30
  • Trinity Episcopal vs. Cosby, 3:30 p.m.
  • Monacan vs. Highland Springs, 5

Friday’s final round at Hanover

  • Seventh place, 9 a.m.
  • Fifth place, noon
  • Third place, 3:30 p.m.
  • Championship, 6:30

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(804) 649-6109


Sports reporter

Eric Kolenich writes sports stories for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, focusing on local athletes and teams. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2008 with a BA in English and joined the paper in 2009. (804) 649-6109

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