Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
The big comeback win for the Lady Cats would only be the first overtime victory of the night for Edmonson County as the Wildcats' match against McLean County was almost a carbon copy of the girls' contest in a thrilling 70-67 win in overtime.
The Wildcats struggled with their shooting throughout the game and McLean County took advantage of their second chance points opportunities. Like much of the season, Edmonson County was forced to play catch up the entire game. They shot a miserable 21% from the field during the first half.
The Wildcats faced an 11 point deficit as the fourth quarter began but a boost in their defensive effort began to cause some problems for the Cougars. A 20-9 run was capped off by a steal and layup by senior Logan Lindsey to tie the game at 57-57 with just over three minutes to go. It was the first time Edmonson County hadn't trailed in the entire game.
Each team exchanged baskets, turnovers, and free throws when Edmonson County was called for a touch foul with 43.2 seconds remaining. McLean County hit both free throws to regain the lead at 61-60.
Freshman Chaz Wilson drew a foul on a shot attempt with 12 seconds left to go. He tied the score at 61 after making the first, but the second bounced away as McLean rebounded and called timeout to set their final play of regulation. The inbound pass was stolen by Tucker Cole who went behind his back, drove to the left side and dumped the ball down to Wilson. Three McLean County players converged on Wilson, there was no call, and Wilson was unable to shoot before time expired at 61-61.
McLean struggled with hitting shots during the overtime and the Wildcats were able to rebound the misses. After a timeout from Edmonson County, the Wildcats spread the floor and senior Tucker Cole was able to take his man one-on-one straight to the rim for a 66-64 lead. McLean missed on their trip and the ball was rebounded again by the Wildcats. Cole drew the foul and calmly hit two free throws with 50 seconds left to go.
McLean scored on their next attempt with 38 seconds on the clock. After a Cougar timeout, Edmonson inbounded the ball and beat McLean's press as Dalton Decker slipped up the left side of the court, finding Chaz Wilson down low who drew the foul with 21.4 seconds left. Wilson hit both shots to put the Cats up by 4.
McLean drew a foul call on the other end and was able to connect on only one free throw. The Wildcats rebounded the miss on the second attempt and held the ball as time expired.
"The will in them was incredible tonight, especially the second half," Assistant Coach Bart Weaver said. "Our guys fought, fought, and fought. We should've won it in regulation but we missed some free throws and some other things, but you've gotta give 'em even more credit because they just dug in here in the overtime and came out with a win."
Weaver said one of the goals accomplished tonight in the win was a low amount of turnovers, which was only eight total, a season low.
Dalton Decker led the Cats in scoring with 15 points. Chaz Wilson had 13 points and 7 rebounds, Logan Lindsey had 13 points, Tucker Cole finished with 9, Logan Minton had 6, Ryan Lindsey had 5, Dylan Elmore added 3, and Brayden Carey and J.T. Vincent had 2 each.
The Wildcats are scheduled to play in round 2 on Saturday at 2pm; however, the winter storm will likely postpone that contest. We will pass along schedule updates as they become available.