A basketball game is supposed to be played five-on-five. It’s not feasible for a team to be victorious unless it fields the requisite five players on the court.
Tell that to Marion County in Missouri.
Despite starting a game against Atlanta with just six players, then watching four of them foul out, the Philadelphia, Missouri-based team somehow escaped with a 51-50 victory.
Four players fouled out in the game’s final three minutes, and Marion County was down to two players –Ty Bowdish and Alex Huffman — with the game tied at 48 with 40 seconds remaining.
Bowdish made two free throws with 15 seconds, and Brynn Baker made two free throws on Atlanta’s next possession to tie the score. Marion County turned the ball over, then committed a foul with five seconds remaining. However, both Atlanta free throws were no good.
Bowdish grabbed the defensive rebound and, despite being quadruple-teamed, dribbled the length of the floor. He was fouled with 1.4 seconds remaining. He missed the first free throw but made the second.
Bowdish finished with a game-high 28 points on his 18th birthday.
That is incredible, and it makes the assessment from the team’s coach pretty apropos:
“Been playing, watching, coaching basketball at a lot of different levels. I’ve never seen anything like I did tonight,” Marion County coach Justin Ellison said on his protected Twitter account. “I’m proud of the way we battled.”
Battle is an understatement. As WHIG noted, Ellison had to “invent” the triangle defense just so his team could mount some front against the Atlanta offense, which still featured five players (as it should).
All would hope for Ellison’s sake that he doesn’t see anything like he did in the Atlanta game again, period. It couldn’t have been good for his heart health, even if it was for the final two players on the court. They were certainly tasked with plenty of running.