Weaver’s Chris English scored the opening basket and ultimately, the last. He helped his team step out to a 17-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Bobcats had increased that lead to 29-18 by halftime. English had more than half of his team’s points with 15 of their 29 points.
Munford outscored Weaver 13-4 in the third quarter to tie the game at 33-33. The Lions even briefly took the lead at 33-31.
The fourth quarter was back and forth between the two teams. Weaver had 43-40 lead with only a few seconds. Quan Richardson nailed a 3- point shot to send the game into overtime.
“He’s been doing that for two years, making big baskets like that,” Munford head coach Isiah Gaddis said. “I drew that play up for him. He nailed it.”
Scoring came at a premium in overtime as the two teams combined for a mere six points. First, Weaver hit a free throw to go up 44-43. Then, Munford countered with a two-point basket to regain the lead 45-44. Finally, Chris English hit a three point shot to put the Bearcats up 47-45. Munford had one more chance when the inbound pass went to Richardson who gave the ball to Tavon Lawson who made a feverish shot with no time left, but the shot fell short.
Gaddis said it was a simple defensive adjustment that was critical to the team’s strong second half effort.
“We just started pressing and pressing and pressing,” Gaddis said. “We got a few steals and some easy baskets. They finally adjusted to it, so we got out of it. They’re a tough team. They’re tough. Tweety hit the basket at the end. I thought he was gonna’ hit another one, but he didn’t shoot it. I drew that play up for Tavon and he gave it to him. It was just a little late. Time ran out.”
Gaddis said even though the Lions lost the game, he was proud of their resilience.
“We were down by 11 to a good team,” he said. “We held [Chris] English pretty good in the second half, really to two field goals and then he hit the one in overtime. But, overall just the comeback and the way my guys fought back after being down by 11. I told them I’m proud of them and we’ve got a lot of work to do. We play these games for the games later on. It’s a long season. That’s why I told them there will be ups and downs, peaks and valleys.”
For the Lions, Richardson finished as the leading scorer with 17 points to go along with three rebounds and two assists. Jaylon Mitchell was the game’s leading rebounder with 17. He also was second on the team with nine points. Tavon Lawson had eight points and eight rebounds. Cameron Turner had a team-leading four steals on defense, while he also contributed five points on offense.
For Weaver, English finished with a game-high 24 points while pulling down 10 rebounds for a double-double. Mike Stephans was Weaver’s second-leading scorer with 11 points and lead his team with four assists. Timothy Hawkins led the Bearcats in rebounding with 9 and chipped in two points.
“We want to be ready before the end of the season for when the playoffs start and that’s usually what I try to build my team up—for those types of games,” Gaddis said. “It would have been nice to win it, but that’s not the end of the world. We’re trying to make it to the state, and that’s our ultimate goal is to be able to do that. You’ve got to be able to win those close games like that because that could be the difference between you going to the final four and not—being able to win those close games. That’s what we’re trying to work on.”