It had been 12 years since Kevin Jones, Devin Ebanks, and John Flowers last played with one another in a quarterfinal game against a formidable opponent.
The last time was in 2010 in West Virginia’s run to the Final Four, when the Mountaineers knocked off Kentucky.
On Friday, Red Scare – the Dayton alumni team – was the opponent. The result was different, as well.
Shooting woes in the first and fourth quarters hampered Best Virginia’s chances of playing past the quarterfinals.
Red Scare, with the home crowd behind it, got double-digit scoring performances from three of its five starters, and advanced to the TBT Final Four, by a final score of 67-60.
The game was tied at 49 entering the fourth quarter.
A pair of 3-pointers gave Red Scare a four-point lead, but a pair of made shots by Jamel Morris tied the game at 57 all.
Red Scare made 11 3-pointers in the contest, forced 13 Best Virginia turnovers, and outscored the former Mountaineers 22-9 in second-chance points.
Red Scare held a two-point advantage entering the Elam Ending, with the target score set at 67.
Red Scare rattled off seven straight points, with a three-pointer pulling the former Flyers to within one point of a spot in the TBT semifinals.
Jaysean Paige cut the deficit to 66-60 with a three of his own.
But Red Scare’s Ryan Mikesell ended the game on the front end of two possible shots at the free throw line.
Best Virginia shot the same 5-for-13 from the floor in the fourth quarter that it did in the first. Best Virginia was outscored 18-11 in the fourth, including 8-3 in the Elam Ending.
Shot selection also could have contributed to an early deficit for Best Virginia. The WVU alums struggled shooting in the first quarter, and trailed 19-12 after the opening quarter of play.
Best Virginia heated up in the second.
After Red Scare scored the first two points of the period, the Dayton alums went more than six minutes without a made shot from the floor.
In the meantime, Best Virginia’s shots began falling, as the team went on a 10-0 run that was capped off by a Teyvon Myers 3-pointer which forced Red Scare to call a timeout. The Myers three gave Best Virginia a 22-21 lead.
Jamel Morris drained a 3-pointer after the timeout to give Best Virginia a four-point advantage, and extended the run to 13-straight points.
Red Scare scored each of the next six points to take a 27-25 lead into the locker room at halftime. Best Virginia’s defense allowed just eight points in the nine-minute second period.
The Dayton alums extended that lead to as far out as eight points in the third, thanks in part to a 6-0 run that was only ended by a Paige 3-pointer.
But Best Virginia closed the 3rd quarter strong, as a trey ball from Jermaine Haley tied the game at 49 points apiece.
Best Virginia shot 8-of-23 from three-point range in the game. Flowers, who made a pair of shots from beyond the arc, finished with a team-high 12 points. No other Best Virginia player finished in double figures.
Morris and Paige each ended the game with nine points, and Ebanks added eight.
Scoochie Smith paced Red Scare in scoring with 17 points.
The WVU alums ultimately fall short of the $1 million grand prize of the TBT. However, this is the farthest that Best Virginia has ever made it in The Basketball Tournament.