The Wildcats went back-to-back in the district this past week, scoring their second straight victory in heart pounding fashion, this time beating Lawrence County in overtime 87-78.
It was an Ethan Hargrove shot in the regulation that forced the extra time in Lawrenceburg with the overtime session falling heavily in favor of the visiting Tullahoma squad. The loss was just the fifth of the season for the 20-5 Lawrence County Wildcats who topped Tullahoma 59-49 in their first meeting the season just a month ago. The win also helped the ‘Cats not only claw out of the district cellar but also put them within shouting distance of third place should they win out their final two district games and the other district games go in their favor.
The hosts actually held the momentum in the first half as they outscored their guests 19-15 in the first quarter. T.J. Gobble was their leader, canning a pair of threes and a deuce in the first on his way to leading all scorers with 23 on the night. He was buttressed by Jakabri Steverson who knocked down 22, five of those scored the opening frame. Grant Chadwick led the Wildcats in the first with five on his way to a team leading 19 on the night. The ‘Cats had a balanced scoring night as they had five players in double figures including DeAndre Jenkins and Ethan Hargrove, both with 16, and Jaiden Sanchez and Xavier Ferrell, both with 12.
Sanchez had his big quarter in the second as he scored eight, two of those coming at the line and the other six from a trio of field goals. He accounted for almost half of his team’s 20 second quarter points as the ‘Cats found themselves outscored again with their hosts putting up 25 in the second for a 42-35 advantage at the break. Steverson had nine and Gobble seven in the second.
The third proved to the make-or-break quarter for Lawrence as they could only must 12 while Tullahoma put 19 on the board. Jenkins was big man on campus in the third with eight while Chadwick chimed in with a pair of buckets to send the squads into the fourth separated by just two at 56-54 in favor of Lawrence.
In the end, it was missed opportunities in the fourth period from the line that doomed Lawrence as they went only seven-for-12 from the line down the stretch. They went 13-for-21 on the night while Tullahoma was nine-for-16.
Overtime belonged to Hargrove as he not only had the basket to give the fans some free basketball as the teams went to overtime but he also had eight of his team’s 15 overtime points m the charity stripe. He personally outscored Lawrence as they were not getting paid overtime as they only put up six during the extra period.