Pendleton Heights had a chance to walk off Yorktown’s court with the Hoosier Heritage Conference boys basketball title on Friday night. Instead, Yorktown took control of the HHC race with a 69-61 overtime win.
The Arabians had the ball for the final possession of regulation, with the score tied 51-51. They elected to hold the ball in an attempt to make a final shot to claim the victory.
But Pendleton Heights (11-4, 5-1 HHC) was unable to get a clean look during the final possession, trying a desperation heave that didn’t come near the basket and also didn’t beat the buzzer.
Pendleton Heights entered the matchup with a 5-0 conference record, and Friday was the Arabians’ final conference game of the season, so a win would have clinched an outright conference crown.
Yorktown took control of the overtime with a dominant offensive performance. The Tigers didn’t miss a shot from the field, going 5-for-5. They also went 7-for-9 from the free-throw line in overtime. Carson Moore scored five points for the Tigers in overtime after not scoring in regulation.
With the victory, Yorktown (9-2 overall) is 4-0 in the HHC, the only team without a loss in conference play. It still has remaining games against Shelbyville and Mt. Vernon, though, so the conference race is not settled, despite Yorktown controlling its destiny.
“These are the kind of games our team needs,” Yorktown coach Greg Miller said. “… These are the kind of games our kids need experience in. And we were fortunate enough to get it tied, and go into overtime and have a great start.”
Yorktown was also able to slow down Pendleton Heights’ Sean McDermott after he began to pick up his offense in the third and fourth quarters. McDermott scored seven points each in the third and fourth quarters, but did not score in overtime, something Greg Miller credited to the defense of Riley Miller.
“We just tried to crack down, and tried to get a hand in his face on all the shots,” Riley Miller said.
Yorktown led by seven points at the end of the first quarter and by one point at halftime. Pendleton Heights took the lead in the third quarter and led by three at the end of the period.
The Arabians led for much of the fourth quarter before two Caleb Morey free throws tied the game at 49. The two teams then traded baskets to be tied at 51.
Pendleton Heights eventually elected to hold the ball for a last shot on the final possession, taking a timeout with 12.1 seconds remaining to set up one final chance. Morey then committed a foul, but the Tigers had fouls to give. The Arabians were then unable to get their shot to break the tie and win in regulation.
Riley Neal and Jacob Preston led Yorktown offensively. Each finished the game with 18 points, and each of them only missed two shots from the field. The pair also helped the Tigers outrebound the Arabians 28-16 for the game. Neal had a game-high nine boards, narrowly missing a double-double.
Riley Miller and Morey each scored 13 points, and the Tigers’ five starters accounted for 67 of their team’s 69 points. Chase Kennedy scored the two points from the bench.
Pendleton Heights’ Kenton Dunham led all scorers with 22 points. McDermott finished with 16.