As she watched her sons enter the locker room at halftime, Lisa Harvey sat down with a sigh.
“They’ve got the toughest defense we’ve seen all year,” she said.
She was referencing Washington County, which built a 29-24 lead over the No. 3 seed Chatham Charter boys basketball team at the break thanks to its tenacious defense. In the last two years, the Knights hadn’t lost a game at home.
But on Saturday night, in the third round of the 1A state tournament, that streak looked like it was ready to break.
Insert the Harvey brothers.
Senior Adam Harvey and sophomore Beau Harvey — who have played together since they were in 3rd and 1st grade, respectively — ultimately led a fourth-quarter comeback to take down the Panthers, 56-49. The win extended Chatham Charter’s undefeated record to 34-0 and moved the Knights into the fourth round of the state playoffs, where they played No. 2 Wilson Prep on the road Tuesday night (game occurred after press time).
Adam, a senior guard, ended with 19 points to lead the team. Both brothers combined for 28 points — 12 of which came in the fourth quarter — to account for half of the Knights’ offense on the night.
“The Harvey brothers are really important to our team because they make everyone around them better,” head coach Jason Messier said. “You get the ball in their hands and they’re going to make some free throws. They’re going to put other people in the right positions to be successful.”
After the Knights cut their deficit to three points by the end of the third quarter, Adam Harvey, at the direction of the Chatham Charter coaching staff, took over the game.
On myriad slashes to the rim, he continued to find success inside — earning layups or trips to the free throw line. The senior said that he made a deliberate effort in the second half to get back to Chatham Charter’s style of play by refusing to settle for jump shots.
“When we’re winning all these games, we’re taking it to the basket and shooting limited threes,” he said. “In the second half, we really took it to the basket.”
Finally, with a narrow lead in the game’s final minutes, Messier said the team’s game plan was to pull the ball out and run the clock. This was a task that Beau, at point guard, largely took on as the team’s “quarterback.”
“He did a fantastic job,” Messier said. “It’s gotten to the point, as he’s matured throughout the years, he calls the offense.”
With 30 seconds remaining in the game, the Knights led 55-47. The game was clearly in their control as Adam stepped to the line yet again. Still, that didn’t stop Lisa Harvey from launching into her normal ritual. Her earrings — two teardrop-shaped basketballs with her son’s numbers written on them — shook as she motioned a cross across her chest and clapped her hands together. She then pulled out her phone to record as her son extended Chatham Charter’s lead with a foul shot.
Soon, the buzzer sounded and the Knights’ win was realized, lifting them one step closer to redemption after losing in last year’s 1A state final. In the words of Adam Harvey, the Knights “want it bad,” and his mom knows just how true that statement is.
“I feel like they have worked all of their middle school and high school years towards this,” Lisa Harvey said. “I just want it so bad for them.”
The Knights played on the road Tuesday night in the fourth round of the 1A state tournament against No. 2 Wilson Prep, which entered the game with a 24-7 record (game occurred after press time). If victorious, Chatham Charter would play Saturday in the east regional finals against either No. 1 seed Bertie or No. 12 seed Northampton County at a neutral site.