Wildcats Win 66-63 in Overtime
Darren Doyle, story:
Both Edmonson and Metcalfe County fans got their money's worth in Edmonton last night, but it was the Wildcats who cashed in at the final buzzer as they defeated the Hornets 66-63 in overtime, thanks to some huge shots when the Cats needed them the most.
Plagued by turnovers all season long, Coach Mike McClintic has been adamant about getting his team to take better care of the ball.
"Turnovers are killing us," he said before the game. "I get tired of saying it, but we're beating ourselves. We simply have to take better care of the ball."
In each of the contests lost by Edmonson County, they've put up anywhere between 20-30 turnovers. In their wins this season, turnovers have been under 20. Last night's contest resulted in only 11 turnovers for the Cats.
Coach Mac was unsure of how his team would respond after being off for four days due to illness and weather conditions, but he said he was happy with Monday's practice. Some would argue his team needs more four-day breaks, followed by one good practice, according to the 17-11 start that EC had last night. The Cats continued their pace as they took a 30-18 lead at the half, thanks to only four turnovers, by crashing the boards, and keeping the Hornets out of the paint. Metcalfe was a dismal 1-10 from the behind the arc in the first half.
The Hornets adjusted in the third as they were the ones crashing the boards. Several second-chance buckets, along with a couple of big three-pointers during a 17-8 run allowed them to cut Edmonson's lead to only 38-35 going into the fourth.
Metcalfe County tied the score at 47 with 4:16 to go. Each team traded baskets when with a one-point lead, the Hornets burned about 45 seconds off the clock and scored with 44 seconds left in regulation, which gave them their biggest lead of the ballgame at 54-51.
On the next possession, junior Nick Clemmons buried a three on the left side to tie the score at 54 with 34 seconds to go. Metcalfe was able to burn a few more seconds off the clock when Hornet senior Tyler London drew a foul on the Wildcats' Chaz Wilson, who attempted to draw a charge. London hit both free throws to put them up two with 7.8 seconds left in the game.
Mason Pierce in-bounded the ball to junior Dalton Decker who went coast-to-coast and off the glass to tie the score as the buzzer sounded to force overtime.
Metcalfe struck first in the overtime but teams continued to trade baskets. With the score tied at 60, senior Griffin Spainhoward notched his first points of the game as he nailed a three from the corner to give the Cats a 63-60 lead with 1:00 to go. Metcalfe County's London answered with the same on the other end to tie it at 63 with 43 seconds remaining.
The Wildcats ran their offense out of a timeout to run the clock all the way down to 3.7 seconds as Clemmons once again performed Wildcat heroics with a three pointer to give the Cats the lead. It was Clemmons' 4th three pointer of the night. Metcalfe County was forced attempt a half court shot, which was blocked by Dalton Decker as the Cats celebrated the win.
"We let them back in -in the second half. We got away from the things we were doing," said Coach Mac after the game. "We got in a hurry, got some turnovers and maybe rushed a few shots, but overall, we didn't quit. They battled back and just played hard. I thought they made some real good decisions coming down to the end there, especially in the overtime."
Leading the Wildcats was Chaz Wilson with 26 points and 7 rebounds. Clemmons added 14, Pierce had 10, Decker scored 7 with 5 rebounds, Daniel Woosley added 6, and Spainhoward had 3.
"I'm happy to get out of here with a win and I'm so happy for the kids," said McClintic. "We had a great practice yesterday. We were off for four days and hadn't been in the gym--which maybe good for them, to keep them away from me--you know, that may have been a part in this tonight, but I love them kids. They give me everything they've got, every day they do. We emphasized that you play like you practice, and we had a great practice yesterday."
The Wildcats are now 8-11 on the season and are scheduled to take on Butler County at home on Friday night in a District 12 G/B doubleheader that will also honor the 72-75 teams that won back-to-back-to-back district titles.