BORDEN — Good old-fashioned, down-to-the wire Indiana High School basketball played in an atmosphere that no words could do justice was featured in the championship game of the Class A Borden Sectional, as gritty and battle-tested Lanesville outlasted Rock Creek in overtime, 68-65 in overtime on Saturday.
The 15-8 Eagles now move on to Saturday’s Loogootee Regional, where they will face Northeast Dubois (11-12) in the 1 p.m. first-round game, but that advancement wasn’t a certainty until the final buzzer sounded Saturday night.
After fighting back from a double-possession deficit, Rock Creek put the game into an extra session with a four-point swing in the last 1 minute, 38 seconds of regulation.
The teams exchanged blows for the first three minutes of overtime — trading baskets and one-point leads — but Rock Creek went scoreless after going up 65-64 with one minute remaining and never had an open, uncontested look at the basket again.
“That was just amazing basketball,” said Lanesville coach Mikel Miller, whose team lost to Borden in the championship game last season. “These were two very good teams playing against each other, back and forth, back and forth, and it literally came down to one possession. I told my guys at that last timeout [with just under 40 seconds to go] that if we can get just one more stop, we’ve got it. If we can just get a stop and get our free throws to drop, we can win it.”
That’s what happened.
Leading 66-65, Lanesville’s Ryan Fulkerson picked off an errant Lions’ pass then dished it off to teammate Joe Ferree, who was then fouled and sent to the stripe for the double-bonus with 27 seconds remaining. Ferree hit the first; The second was rebounded by Rock Creek’s Gedeon Nzombi and passed off to Lion guard Will Brown, who dribbled into the paint for a hand-in-the-face jumpshot that missed its mark. Eagles junior Matthew Husband was fouled on the rebound with 6.2 seconds left and hit one of two free throws, which gave the game its final score.