Eminence High School senior Jesse Lacey added his name to the list of March’s biggest shots statewide in this year’s high school basketball playoffs on Thursday.
Lacey knocked down a 3-pointer with less than eight seconds left to send his team to the Class 1 state final.
“I knew we had to get one up,” Lacey said. “And that’s all you can do.”
The shot gave Eminence a 65-64 overtime victory over Drexel at the University of Missouri’s Hearnes Center.
Eminence will play in Saturday’s 6:50 final against Stanberry at Mizzou Arena. The Redwings, who have never been to state, are trying to match the Eminence girls, who won the title last season.
The Redwings (26-5) trailed 56-50 with 3:10 to play in regulation when Lacey converted a four-point play. He then drove for the tying basket with 1:18 remaining. Those were the final two field goals in regulation, as Eminence missed a chance at the buzzer which would have won.
In overtime, Drexel scored on its first four possessions and led 64-59 with 45 seconds left.
Damon Craig hit a 3-pointer with 25.4 seconds left, and Drexel missed the front end of a one-and-one to set up the dramatics for Lacey.
On the final play, senior Nike Danding penetrated to the middle of the floor, setting up Lacey, who was contested on the winning shot. The guard scored a game-high 22 points.
Lacey said he’s hit game-winners before, but didn’t know where this one stacked up.
“It’s a dream … a dream come true,” Lacey said. “And we’re not done yet.”
* West Platte 57, Iberia 48: The West Platte Blue Jays start a 6-foot-10 center, and forwards that measure 6-3 and 6-5.
But Iberia coach Steve Scholfield said he thought it was West Platte’s strength, not height, that led to a 46-27 rebounding edge that was likely the difference.
“That was a football school, and we haven’t played a football school all year,” Scholfield said.
Making matters worse, Iberia 6-9 freshman center Dexter Frisbie was in foul trouble throughout, fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.
Without him, Iberia had trouble with 6-10 Bryce Cashman inside.
“We could’ve done a better job, but Dexter is still learning, and he’s improved so much,” Iberia senior Ryan Voss said.
Darrien Dickey had a game-high 22 points for the Rangers (27-4), who play Oran in today’s 3:20 p.m. third-place game.
“It’s a great experience to have the whole town behind you,” Iberia senior Isaac Minnick said. “To look up and see all that green … and to know they’ll be back (today) is great.”
West Platte (30-0) will try to complete the perfect season against Salisbury in Saturday’s 3:10 p.m. final.
The Blue Jays may have to do it without junior Adam Roe, who scored 20 points but injured his knee late in the game.
Bililings boys basketball coach Kendall Tilley was at the game courtside. His defending champion Wildcats were upset in a district final game by Crane.
“It’s the game we should have been in,” Tilley said.