A young Southwood team needed a spark to vault itself into the Class 5A playoff picture.
An 89-86 double-overtime win against Class 2A No. 2 Lakeview could do the trick.
The Cowboys erased a double-digit deficit in regulation and a six-point deficit in overtime before holding off a taller Lakeview (13-4) team in double overtime.
Southwood (10-7) jumped into a tie for No. 31 in the latest LHSAA unofficial power ratings, holding onto one of the last spots in a 32-team playoff.
“Lakeview is one of the best teams in North Louisiana, and our guys just had the will and the determination to get it done,” said Southwood coach Norman Picou. “This is a huge game for us from a confidence standpoint with a team with just one senior, and this can really help in the power points as well.
“These kids just fought hard and played hard all night.”
After a Tray Kirkendoll bucket handed Lakeview an 86-85 lead in double overtime, Southwood guard John Parker drained the go-ahead 3-pointer with 40 seconds left for an 88-86 lead. He scored five of the Cowboys’ last six points, finishing with a team-high 22 points to lead five Cowboys in double figures.
Cris Black made a free throw for one of his 10 points for the 89-86 edge, and the Southwood defense held on Lakeview’s final possession as a Malik Metoyer 3-pointer missed.
“Southwood boxed us out and took our shooters out of rhythm,” said Lakeview coach Josh Hancock. “Our defense didn’t get to their shooters, and I told our guys they would eventually make these open shots, and they did.”
Kirkendoll scored a team-high 22 points, joining Adrio Bailey (14 points), Malik Metoyer (10 points), Jerald Bush (14 points) and Tay Hardy (15 points) in double digits.
In the first overtime, a Charles Browder 3-pointer and three Kirkendoll free throws handed the Gators what felt like an insurmountable 76-70 lead.
But Black banked in a 3-pointer to start Southwood’s comeback, and the Cowboys nearly won it in single overtime when Shakelvin Calhoun’s putback attempt rolled off the rim.
Calhoun played a large part in rebounding and interior defense while scoring 12 points. Kajuan Johnson (10 points) and Daterrius Hubbard (17 points) also reached double digits for Southwood.
“(Playing inside) was hard to do against these guys, but we both came out with our A-games,” Calhoun said. “I really like these (Southwood) boys, and we just didn’t want to lose tonight. We came out with the mind-set to win it.”
Southwood appeared to have won when a a Cowboy defender knocked away a pass with just a few seconds remaining.
But Kirkendoll collected the loose ball and layed it up with just one second left to send the game to overtime at 70-70.
The Cowboys, who didn’t lead until a Parker 3-pointer late in the third quarter during a 17-0 run, seemed in control with a 52-45 edge early in the fourth quarter.
Parker and Calhoun were huge in the Cowboys’ comeback, and Southwood protected its lead up to the 2-minute mark with a 67-61 edge.
But Hardy turned a steal into a basket, Bailey and Bush made second-chance buckets and Ronald Bell made a free throw to cut Southwood’s lead to 69-68.
A Hubbard free throw stretched the Cowboys’ lead to two points before Kirkendoll’s buzzer beater.
Lakeview sprinted to a 12-2 lead in the opening minutes, and Southwood didn’t get closer than five points until its 17-0 run.
“We defended, that’s how we were able to come back once we got down,” Picou said. “We relied on our gimmick defenses, and these guys did a great job executing it.
“Our point guard Kajuan Johnson did a great job of distributing the ball, and he didn’t let Lakeview press him. Lakeview’s manager was taller than anybody we had on the court, and I thought these guys and our coaches did a great job tonight. This can turn your season around.”