Marcus Gorman wouldn’t have wanted Friday night to turn out any other way.
The freshman guard, and son of Rogersville coach Rod Gorman, wanted to be a part of history and his wish came true.
Not only did Marcus and the rest of the Wildcats knock off the state’s second-ranked team in Class 4, but they got their coach his 500th career coaching win all on the same night with a 47-45 double-overtime win over top-seeded Republic.
“It feels awesome obviously just be a part of his 500th win and to be a part of history,” Marcus Gorman said.
“After the game when someone said it was his 500th, everybody went crazy because half the guys didn’t know.
“I’m really glad I got to be a part of this; it really means a lot to me.”
The Wildcats will play Ozark for the championship at 7 p.m. today.
Following the milestone win on Friday, Rod Gorman was pleased but any celebration was low-key.
“I’m not sure it feels any different than any other win, because I try to appreciate every win,” Rod said.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time and it’s special because my son was out there and it’s special because we get to play for a championship tomorrow.”
Rogersville (9-7) trailed Republic (15-2) by one point (17-16) at the 5:28 mark of the second quarter when sophomore Ben Vinyard started a big run by the Wildcats.
Vinyard’s bucket from the right block started an 11-1 run that put Rogersville up 27-18 with less than 30 seconds left in the first half.
“They did a good job of slowing the tempo down a little bit and forcing our big guys to guard out on the perimeter,” Republic coach Trevyor Fisher said. “When they got up, we had to adjust; we couldn’t keep our big guys in there.”
Once ahead, the Wildcats slowed the pace on several possessions by taking time off the clock on the perimeter before attacking the basket and getting a quality shot.
Rogersville led by five points (39-34) early in the fourth quarter, when Republic outscored the Wildcats 9-2 to take a 43-41 lead with 2:26 left in regulation.
The Wildcats tied the game on a basket in the paint from senior Justus Boever with 1:52 left and had a chance to win it in regulation, but Republic junior Canyon Smith blocked the potential game-winning shot at the buzzer.
Rogersville took considerable time on offense at the start of the first overtime and limited possessions for both teams.
In the second overtime, Rogersville senior Aaron Freeman got a rebound and a putback to put the Wildcats up 47-45 with 3:12 left, a score that proved to be the difference.
The Tigers missed a go-ahead 3-pointer inside the final minute and then failed to get a shot off with their final possession inside the final 10 seconds.
“They did a good job of collapsing down on us and forcing us to make jump shots and we didn’t make enough of them,” Fisher said.
* Ozark 69, Strafford 39: Behind 20 points from sharp-shooting junior guard Korbin Evans and 16 points from senior center Brett Krisik, the Tigers will play Rogersville for the championship.
Ozark opened up a 34-17 halftime lead and stretched it to a 24-point lead (51-27) early in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Brady Collier led Strafford with 14 points.
The Indians will play Republic for third place at 5:30 p.m. today.