Regional Tournament Game Goes Down To Final Seconds
Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
A free throw in the final seconds made the difference in the 53-52 Wildcat loss in Wednesday's Region 3 game against the Ohio County Eagles that ended Edmonson County's 2017-18 season.
Trailing 44-52 with 1:31 to go, the Wildcats went on an 8-0 run, capped off by Ryan Lindsey's second three-pointer of that run that tied the score at 52 with 25 seconds remaining.
Ohio County went the length of the floor and Eagles forward John Parker (26 points) drew the foul on a shot with 4 seconds left. Parker hit the first free throw to give Ohio County the lead but missed the second one; however, Edmonson County was not able to grab the rebound and Ohio County's Logan Sandefur was able to tip the ball away from the Wildcats.
Wildcat fans wanted an over-the-back call. They didn't get it. Edmonson County was forced to throw up a prayer that didn't come close and the Eagles came away with the victory.
Edmonson County struggled with making shots early but stellar defense kept them in the game. The coaching staff wanted to focus on defense and rebounding and also wanted to take away the three point shot from the Eagles. Ohio County made only one of thirteen 3s for the entire game. The Wildcats forced 9 turnovers while only giving up 5. The rebounding differential was close, (Ohio 33-EC 26), but eleven of the Eagles' points came from offensive rebounds and putbacks.
Edmonson County also shot poorly from the free throw line, making only 1 of 7 for the entire game. Ohio County shot 12-20 for 60%. The Wildcats were 44% from the field compared to the Eagles' 45%.
"Our goal tonight was to shut down their three point shooters," said Assistant Coach Bart Weaver. "And we did a heck of a job. If you were to tell me before the game that they'd only make one of them I'd have told you we're definitely winning. Ever since the Trinity game where we had to cover those shooters, they've played their tails off by covering the shooters. Of course, that opens up where we're a little weak and that was against their size and we paid for that, but what a comeback. Man, I'm really proud of them. The eight seniors we got are quality young men."
Leading the Wildcats was senior Logan Lindsey with 18 points and 6 rebounds. He finished the season as the Wildcats' leading team scorer at just under 12 points per game. Also scoring was Tucker Cole with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. Logan Minton added 7, Ryan Lindsey and Dalton Decker each added 6, and J.T. Vincent added 4 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots.
Eight seniors left the court for the last time in an Edmonson County Wildcats uniform. Coach Weaver talked about their leadership and their impact on Wildcat basketball.
"The first thing that comes to mind is how they've persevered through adversity. We've had injuries, we've had a round of the flu, I know all teams go through adversity, but these guys heard a lot of chirping like 'you're not winning enough,' but they just kept fighting and fighting. These eight seniors we got, not one time have they been in trouble at school, they're just quality young men."
"At first, I think it was tough for some to sit back and watch some younger guys play and get some of their minutes, but when it's all said and done, we're a team and they learned how to accept that and go on. That says so much about their character. We've also got young kids that we had to throw in the fire because we had to, and they responded. I just couldn't be more happy. It's a blessing for me and Coach (Mac) to coach these young men. And these guys? We're gonna miss them."
Edmonson County ends the season with a record of 10-22.