BY DENNIS CLAYTON
ECRU – Chris Hill’s short jumper in the lane with two seconds remaining gave Myrtle the come-from-behind overtime win over North Pontotoc on Thursday 76-75.
“I felt like we gave it (game) away a couple of times and turned around and had to win it back,” Myrtle coach Rob Browning said. “Credit my boys, they decided that they weren’t going to lose. There’s a lot of things we have got to correct, but ultimately if you can get out of a game like this with a win, you’ll take it.”
The dramatic finish began with Hill at the free throw line with the Hawks down 75-73 with seven seconds left. Hill sank the first free throw to close the score to 75-74, but missed the second shot which set up the play of the game according to Browning.
“Titus (Gillard) kept that ball alive off the missed free throw, he tipped it and Chris followed the ball and made a heck of a shot,” Browning said. “It was a tough shot over people and we didn’t get a foul called. That was big and we’ll take it.”
Myrtle had taken what seemingly was a comfortable lead during the third quarter, but North Pontotoc chipped away and cut the double-digit lead down to nine by the end of the period at 50-41.
North Pontotoc got clutch 3-pointers during the fourth quarter to rally and briefly take the lead. The Vikings connected on four 3-pointers in the period.
The teams finished regulation tied 61-61 as Dee Johnson got off a shot that bounced off the back of the rim as time expired.
The teams were tied 6-6 after a quarter and again at the half 26-26.
Johnson led a quartet of Hawks in double figures with his 27 points. Hill and Lavon Kiddy had 12 points apiece and Anthony Lipsey added 10.
Myrtle improves to 6-1 on the year.
Myrtle girls lost a close one, 48-45 to the Lady Vikings. The Lady Hawks were able to get with one point at 44-43 following Jessica Floyd’s free throw to complete the three point play, but North Pontotoc picked up the insurance points needed to take the win.
Presley Goolsby sparked the first half scoring for Myrtle with nine points as the teams went to half with the Lady Hawks trailing 22-19.
Ivory Montgomery had a big second half for Myrtle, scoring 10 points.
Leading scorers for the Lady Hawks were Floyd with 14 and Montgomery finished with 12. Myrtle girls are now 4-3 on the year.