MARMADUKE A dramatic buzzer beating 3-pointer by junior Mark Hawkins breathed new life into Buffalo Island Central's season just as it seemed to be slipping away Thursday night.
Hawkins' timely trey, with three seconds showing on the clock enabled BIC to eke out a 44-43 win over the upset minded Parkin Tigers in the first round of the class AA Region 3 tournament at Marmaduke.
The Mustangs, the number one seed from the 3AA North district, had struggled all night to establish their usual offensive flow against Parkin, the number four seed from the 3AA South district. Jeremy Marrs, the Tiger's 6' 5" inside threat, had something to do with it as he blocked several BIC shots inside the paint.
The score was even 10-10 after one quarter. When the Tiger's held BIC to six second quarter points, they were able to take an 18-16 lead at halftime. At this point Brandon Ballard was the only Mustang who could find the hoop as he had 10 first half points, five in each quarter.
As the third quarter started BIC tied the score 18 all on a trick play that completely baffled Parkin. Knowing that they the first possession of the quarter the Mustangs deliberately set up offensively under their defensive goal. Confused, Parkin attempted to defend the wrong goal and Ballard easily broke free for an unmolested lay-up to tie the score 18-18.
Concerning the trick play BIC Coach Bill Taylor said, "We call that our wrong-way play. It's something we run a few times each year in certain key situations."
Though Parkin fell victim to the trick play they recovered and led 31-25 at the quarter's end.
In the final frame BIC began to resemble the team what went through the 2AA North regular conference season with a perfect 14-0 record.
When Ballard hit a short one hander in the paint at 4:36 the game was even again at 34-34.
Terin Washington then scored on an offensive put-back as he was fouled. His free throw at 3:37 put Parkin into the lead at 37-34. When Washington found Marrs open inside for a lay-up at 3:16 the Parkin lead was 39-34.
Then, in prelude to his game winning shot, Hawkins would nail a 3-pointer at 3:00 to make the score 39-37. This was Hawkins first points of the game and he had misfired six times from beyond the 3-point line.
After Terin Washington hit a free throw, Josh Shepard passed to Brooks Taylor for a lay-up and the score was 40-39. BIC went ahead again when Ballard passed to Shepard, whose basket at 1:07 made it 41-40.
With 16 seconds lift in the game Parkin's Antonio Woods hit two free throws to put the Tigers back in front at 42-41.
With the clock winding down BIC's Cal Rose drove toward Parkin's basket before passing the ball back to Hawkins for the game winner. After Hawkins nailed the trey Parkin called time-out to set up a miracle shot of it's own. It was not to be as their long desperation shot bounced off the backboard as BIC improved to 32-2 on the year.
Coach Taylor commented on Hawkins' game winning shot, "It was a big shot. Gutsy? We had no choice. It was either shoot it or get the bats and helmets out. We wanted to put the ball in Brandon's hands. He gave it up a little too early to Cal Rose. Cal then penetrated the middle and kicked the ball to Hawkins in the corner who got a good look for the three. The kids were out of sync for much of the game but they found a way to win."
For BIC Ballard was the leading scorer with 23 points. Taylor scored 9 points, Hawkins had 6 points, Shepard scored 5 points and Cal Rose had 1 point.
For Parkin, who finished the year 22-7, Washington had 16 points and Marrs scored 10 points.