Chris Graham: Fishburne PGs look to build on national-tourney run

huckTwo losses in overtime. Another by a single point. Two others by two points. Another by five. A basket here, a defensive stop there, and the most successful season in the four-year history of Fishburne Military School’s postgrad program gets that much more interesting.

“We were in every game we played this year. There were just a few instances where one or two plays made all the difference,” said FMS coach Ed Huckaby after his team’s season came to an end with a 92-86 overtime loss to Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.) in the quarterfinal round of the National Prep Championships in New Haven, Conn.

Down 14 with less than two minutes to go, Zach Lewis (Canisius) channeled his inner Reggie Miller, scoring 14 points in a 16-2 Fishburne run that brought the Caissons into a 75-75 tie with 19 seconds left in regulation.

Lewis’s threes got all the attention after the game, but it was also a move by Huckaby in the game’s final minutes to go to a full-court press that was key in propelling the team on its run.

“We were just looking for something to give us a spark, and once we got it down to single digits, we decided to keep the pressure on. Even when we tied it, we decided to stick with it, and got that steal and got Kuran (Iverson, a Memphis signee) on the line for the lead,” Huckaby said.

But Iverson, a 56 percent free-throw shooter on the season, missed both ends of the two-shot foul, and the game went to overtime.

NMH outscored Fishburne 17-11 in the extra session.

“We have nothing to hang our heads over. We fought hard, played hard, played ‘til the end. We did an admirable job to keep fighting. I’m proud of the guys. I think we came here and represented Fishburne Military School well and represented Waynesboro well,” Huckaby said.

And now Huckaby’s focus turns to next season. This was his first FMS team to make it to the national tournament, and the sights will be set that high and even higher in 2013-2014.

“My goal next year and into the future will be to get a group of guys like we had here this year. These guys really set the tone for how we want to perform both on the court and in the classroom. Hopefully we can build on this and continue to get better,” Huckaby said.

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