Mustangs win double overtime thriller for district title
BIC and EPC met for the third time this season with each team winning on the road. BIC broke that trend but it took two extra periods to get it done. EPC's Aaron Scales' shot rattled the rim but did not fall as BIC captured the 2A-3 district title with a 60-57 win in Monette this past Friday night.
BIC coach Bill Taylor was happy for his team after the game. "It's been a long time since we've gotten to go to regionals. With four straight losing seasons, it's very special to bring the district title back to BIC," Taylor said.
The teams traded baskets the first couple of minutes of the game with Chris Whitfield scoring off an offensive rebound to start the game before Seth Eatmon canned a three for BIC. Byron Scales hit a jumper before Eatmon nailed another three-pointer to make it 6-4 Mustangs.Byron Scales scored inside for EPC before brother Aaron sliced in for a lay up and was fouled. Aaron Scales' free throw was good to make it 9-6 EPC with 4:46 to play in the opening quarter.
Austin Pike got a jumper to fall for BIC to make it 9-8 only to see the Warriors get a jumper from Byron Scales and one of two free throws from Aaron Scales and then a three-pointer from Aaron Scales to make it 15-8 EPC. Alex Ballin canned a three-ball from the right corner for BIC with 1:03 left to set the first quarter score at 15-11.
Ballin and Pike made back to back buckets to tie the game at 15 in the first minute of play in the second quarter. Whitfield scored on back to back lay ups for EPC to give the Warriors a 19-15 lead. Pike scored off back to back offensive rebounds for BIC to tie the game back up at 19-19. EPC got back to back jumpers from Des Barnes, Nick Bollinger scored inside for BIC and Barnes got inside for a score to make it 25-21 Warriors with 2:03 left. Alan Carmichael got a basket inside and then hit two free throws to send the teams to half tied at 25.
EPC opened up the third quarter with buckets from Byron Scales and Whitfield to take a 29-25 lead. Pike netted a three-pointer from the top of the key for BIC to make it 29-28. Clay Malone hit two free throws for EPC after being fouled for a 31-29 lead before BIC's Trey Depriest tied it at 31 with a three-pointer from the left corner. Byron Scales hit two free throws with 1:08 to play giving the Warriors a 33-31 lead. Bollinger's jumper with 48 seconds left tied the game for BIC before the Mustangs got a floater in the lane from Depriest to take a 35-33 lead at the end of three.
The fourth quarter was much like the third with neither team being able to take a big lead or hold a lead. Aaron Scales tied the game at 35-35 with a jumper and Byron Scales gave the Warriors a 37-35 lead with an inside basket. Carmichael hit a jumper for the Mustangs to tie the game at 37 and Depriest gave BIC a 40-37 lead with a three-pointer.
Byron Scales cut BIC lead to 40-39 with another inside basket for the Warriors. Pike's jumper with 3:10 left in the game gave BIC a 42-39 lead. Byron Scales hit one of two free throws and Whitfield's jumper found it's mark to tie the game at 42-42. Eatmon hit a three-pointer for BIC only to see Paul Pilgrim hit a three-pointer for EPC to make it 45-45 with just over two minutes left. Neither team could get a basket to fall forcing an overtime period to decide a winner.
Carmichael gave BIC the first lead in overtime with an inside basket before Barnes got inside for EPC to make it 47-47. Eatmon hit one of two free throws for the Mustangs for a 48-47 lead. Byron Scales scored off an offensive rebound and was fouled. His free throw was good to make it 50-48 EPC with 46 seconds left. Pike got free in the lane and hit a jumper with 23 seconds left tying the game at 50-50 and sending the game to double overtime.
Evan Sanders opened the second overtime with two free throws for BIC to make the score 52-50. Byron Scales answered with two free throws for EPC to tie it at 52-52. The Mustangs got a jumper from Pike and two free throws from Eatmon to make it 56-52 BIC with 1:06 left. Whitfield hit a three for the Warriors making it 56-55. Eatmon hit two free throws for BIC before Aaron Scales went in for an EPC lay up to make the score 58-57. Pike stepped to the free throw and hit two big free throws to make it 6-57 Mustangs with five seconds left. Aaron Scales got off one last shot with the ball hitting the back of the rim and then front before falling to the floor giving the Mustangs the district title.
Pike finished with a game high 21 points for the Mustangs was named the conference player of the year after the game. Eatmon also added 21 points for BIC.
"He (Pike) did what the player of the year is supposed to do, he put the team on his back and made big play after big play," Taylor said of his player. "To stay in the game with four fouls and continue to play like he did was amazing," Taylor added.
"We don't match up with well with EPC, they have guys who can shoot the three and then the Scales brothers demand the ball inside and finish around the basket. East Poinsett County is a very good team and we played as well defensively as we could against them. They dictate the game with their athleticism," Taylor said.
Byron Scales led the Warriors with 20 points on the night. Whitfield added 13 points and Aaron Scales finished with 11 points for EPC.
"Neither team deserved to lose that game," EPC coach Josh Hill said after the game. "They made a couple shots and we missed a few, the fans saw a great game tonight. I was happy with our play on both sides of the ball," Hill added.