Eagleville’s Josh McCrary found himself in the right place at the right time twice Friday night, and he took advantage by connecting on two buzzer-beaters.
Those buzzer-beaters lifted Eagleville to a 71-70 road overtime victory over District 9-A champion Middle Tennessee Christian.
The Cougars led 70-66 with five seconds left in overtime when Chris Hale sunk a 3-pointer to cut it to one. On the in-bounds pass, Eagleville’s Bo Tollett batted the ball away right to McCrary under the basket. He hit a layup with 1.1 seconds remaining.
The first buzzer-beater came with Eagleville down 62-60. The Eagles inbounded it with 4.6 seconds left. A 3-point attempt missed, but McCrary was under the basket for the rebound and putback right as the buzzer sounded.
“I just saw the shot go up and I crashed the boards, and the ball fell in my hands, I put the shot up and I heard the buzzer,” said McCrary.
He also hit a 3-pointer in the first half and finished with seven points.
It was the second time the two squads have gone to overtime this season. MTCS won at Eagleville earlier in the extra session.
“In that locker room, Josh is one of the best kids I’ve ever been around,” said Eagleville coach Joey Reed. “It couldn’t have happened to a better kid, I’m so proud of him.”
MTCS led 49-37 going into the fourth quarter and had a 17-point lead at one point in the third quarter (45-28). Then the Eagles outscored MTCS 13-2 to start the fourth quarter to get back in the game.
John Posada led the charge for Eagleville. He had 19 second-half points, 22 overall. He connected on three 3-pointers.
“They put pressure on you by driving the ball,” said MTCS coach Jason Piercey. “Give them credit, they hit shots. We didn’t get out on them when we needed to.”
The Cougars were led by Derrick Spears, with 23, 16 in the second half. Spears was recognized before the game for being the all-time leading MTCS scorer, with 1,608 points going into the game. The previous all-time leading scorer was Craig Maynard, who played in the late 1980s for coach Dave Edinger.
“The impressive part is, he’s done it as a junior,” said Piercey. “He deserves everything he gets, because he works extremely hard.”
Spears scored 10 of his points in the second half from the free throw line. MTCS went to the free throw line 30 times in the second half, Eagleville had 13 attempts.
Eagleville 13 11 13 25 9 — 71
MTCS 15 16 18 13 8 — 70
Eagleville – John Posada 22, Chris Hale 14, Darin Knox 12, Ben Kelley 11, McCrary 7, Jernigan 3, Rudd 2.
MTCS – Derrick Spears 23, David Capps 12, Ben Brown 11, Howell 9, Crear 6, Hageman 5, Winn 4.
MTCS 50, Eagleville 33
MTCS led early 12-2, but Eagleville went on a 12-0 run to take a 14-12 lead.
From that point, MTCS outscored Eagleville 13-2 to close out the first half with a 25-16 lead.
Eagleville never got within six the rest of the game. Megan Smith led the Lady Cougars with 22 points, connecting on five 3-pointers.
MTCS improved to 15-10, 8-6 in District 9-A. Eagleville fell to 6-18, 2-11.
Eagleville 6 10 8 9 — 33
MTCS 12 13 7 18 — 50
Eagleville – Nicole Duke 12, Scott 6, J. Turnage 4, Barnes 4, Laird 3, Lynch 2, J. Turnage 2.
MTCS – Megan Smith 22, Abby Sweeney 10, Peters 8, Buckner 4, Welker 3, Faulkner 3.