Bobcats beat Tigers in overtime

Friday, December 16, 2016
Keshum Gentry hits one of his two first quarter free throws in the Tigers overtime loss against Giles County. Tribune photos by Mike Inglsbee

Anytime the Marshall County (3-3, 0-1) and Giles County (7-0, 1-0) boy's squads meet up for a basketball game the crowd can expect to get its money worth of entertainment.

Friday night's game was no exception as a rowdy crowd welcomed the Tigers and the Bobcats needed overtime to escape with a one-point 61-60 overtime win at Pulaski.

"You always know it's a rivalry when it comes to Giles County and Marshall County," Jay Howard, who chipped in two points and three rebounds, said. "Everybody loves this rivalry when it comes to both teams because we all know each other off the court but it's in all-out battle as soon as the ball goes up. They're not your friends anymore, they're your adversaries, so when you get that combination it's something serious."

Caleb Fields paced the Tigers with 19 points and five assists and K.J. Johnson turned in a huge second half to finish with 19 points and D'Andre Brown led Marshall County with six rebounds to go along with nine points.

The Tigers dug themselves in an early hole by scoring just eight first quarter points as K.J. Zeigler and Jordan Gilbert combined for 13 early points to give the Bobcats a 15-8 lead after one quarter.

Fields single handedly brought the Tigers back with 10 second quarter points and after a Brown 3-pointer from the corner brought the game back even at 15 with 4:52 left in the period the Tigers finally took the lead 23-22 at the half.

The Bobcats fought back to take a three point lead with just over a minute left in the third but Tre Crutcher sank a three in his first game on the court this season and with 20 seconds left in the quarter, Crutcher stole a pass and fed Fields for the 40-38 lead.

The Bobcats scored on an offensive rebound at the buzzer to tie the game heading into the final quarter.

The two longtime rivals went back and forth in the final frame with Brown grabbing a steal and connecting on a layup with 1:44 left to give the Tigers a 54-52 lead.

Jay Howard steps to the line to attempt a free throw during the second quarter of a hard fought one-point loss to the Bobcats.

The Bobcats scored on a backdoor layup 16 seconds later and with 27.6 seconds remaining in regulation, Fields was fouled on a layup attempt.

The standout point guard only made 1-of-2 attempts to set up a last second Giles County shot.

Jordan Gilbert took the ball to the hole earlier than expected and after a Tiger foul and Gilbert making one out of two free throws to tie the game, Brown took the ball straight to the hoop before missing an off balanced, contested layup to send the game into overtime.

The Tigers fell behind by three heading into the final minute of the extra frame but with 40 seconds remaining Johnson was fouled shooting a 3-pointer.

The sophomore guard calmly stepped to the line and sank all three foul shots to tie the game back at 60.

Gilbert once again went to the charity stripe after a hack on a layup attempt, but after missing the second free throw with just under six seconds remaining the teams battled for the rebound before a jump ball was called in the Tigers favor with 1.2 seconds remaining.

The Tigers inbounded the ball to Fields deep in the back court and the nearly floor length shot was well off the target leading to the Giles County fans storming the court to celebrate a huge district opening win over its longtime rival.

"We need to start the game like we tried to end it in the second half," Johnson said. "Usually we start off slow, slow in tempo and in the second half we start off fast. So we need to start off the game with that faster tempo."

The Tigers bounced back with a win over Manassas on Saturday and look to keep the wins coming against one-win Columbia Central at Columbia on Tuesday before looking to exact revenge on CPA on Friday, who beat the Tigers four different times during last season.

Marshall County 8 15 17 15 5 60

Giles County 15 7 18 15 6 61

Marshall County (60): Caleb Fields 19, K.J. Johnson 19, D'Andre Brown 9, Keevon Maxwell 5, Tre Crutcher 3, Jay Howard 2, Keshun Gentry 2, Donathan Tears 1

3-point goals (5): K.J. Johnson 2, Crutcher, Maxwell, Brown

Giles County (61): Jordan Gilbert 17, Aspen Bush 16, K.J. Ziegler 12, Delmon Gentry 8, Payton Hall 4, Lamont Appleton 2, Kobe Bledsoe 2

3-point goals (4): Ziegler 2, Bush 2

Halftime score: Marshall County 23, Giles County 22