Monday, February 19, 2018

ET Basketball: Gilmer denies Spring Hill in overtime

George Whitley

By George Whitley
Feb. 13, 2018 at 11:01 p.m.

Trailing for much of the second half, the Gilmer Buckeyes staged a fourth-quarter charge, forced overtime and slipped out of town with a 70-67 win over the Spring Hill Panthers here Tuesday night.

Red Jones had ice water in his veins as he dropped in a pair of free throws with 3.2 seconds left in regulation that eventually sent the game into overtime.

"I knew I had to make these shots for us to get to overtime. It's that simple," said Jones following the game. "I've been in situations like that before where I had to step up. We're all competitors and we love to compete. We knew what was at stake."

The Buckeyes, with the win, lock up sole possession of third place in District 15-4A, while the Panthers lose out on the opportunity for an outright district crown and share the honor with Chapel Hill, which defeated Bullard Tuesday night.

It's not been determined whether or not Spring Hill and Chapel Hill will flip a coin or play for seeding. All other playoff information is also not yet finalized.

The Buckeyes broke from the gate in the extra session and scored the first nine points to build a 70-61 lead with 1:12 to play.

Spring Hill enjoyed the lead for much of the night, building as much as an eight-point advantage in the third quarter when Kiante Stoker converted a layup at 6:25 to make it 43-35.

Consecutive 3-pointers from Jones sandwiched a trey from Spring Hill's Kyren Miller as Gilmer kept it close late into third.

When D.Q. Lawson rained one in from beyond the arc at 1:10 of the third, the Buckeyes had their first lead of the second half, 49-48.

Tyler Caron's layup and subsequent free throw answered a Tra Fluellen pull-pop to start the final period of regulation. Caron's three-point play gave Spring Hill a 53-51 lead.

The Panthers proceeded to hike their advantage to 57-51 with back-to-back buckets from Exavier Hinton, who shared high point for Spring Hill with Caron at 17 points.

Eddie Roy, who led all scorers with 22 points, came up with a key steal in the waning moments and converted it into points for Buckeyes to trim the deficit to 59-60 with less than a half minute to go.

Miller, who was fouled on the ensuing trip down court, stepped to the line for the Panthers with 19 seconds remaining in the fourth and sank the backside of a two-shot foul for a 61-59 lead.

That's when Jones drove the baseline and drew a foul, setting the stage for his late game heroics.

"I'm really proud of our guys tonight. They battled when they were down. Spring Hill's awesome shooting the ball and they are so big inside," said Buckeye coach Keith Tate. "We just kept battling and battling. We caught them at the end hit the shots in overtime."



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