LEXINGTON —With 6:21 left in the third quarter, Lexington took its largest lead at 21 points, but what followed was a comeback for Hardin County’s boys’ basketball team to set the early part of the season back on the right track.
Hardin County scored 18 unanswered points following that 21-point deficit on the way to beating Lexington 68-63 in overtime at Lexington on Monday.
“I don’t know what to tell ya,” Hardin County coach Rory Carpenter said jokingly. “We did a good job with our press, and that is what got it turned around.”
Hardin County (3-1) was coming off its first loss of the season to McNairy Central, and the first half against Lexington didn’t show much improvement in the offense as the team finished the first 16 minutes of play with 17 points.
“We started the season well, and then against McNairy we didn’t come ready to play, and that is taking nothing away from them,” Carpenter said. “We lost our composure and identity. Tonight in the second half, we started doing the things that we are supposed to be doing.
Lexington (1-6) was hot from 3-point range in the first half with eight 3s that allowed the team to take a 36-17 halftime lead.
But those 3-pointers didn’t fall in the second half, and may times Lexington didn’t get shots off because of turnovers against Hardin County’s full-court press.
Six different Hardin County players scored in the 18-point rally in the third quarter.
But it was an Antonio Davis layup with 1:40 left in the third quarter that cut Lexington’s lead down to three points (42-39).
“We lacked effort in the first half,” Davis said. “We didn’t execute on offense. We had to keep pressing and not let up on defense.”
Davis led Hardin County with 21 points, and Nathan Caldwell added 18 points.
Lexington started scoring again early in the fourth quarter and a Tylan Johnson basket with 4:23 to play gave his team an eight-point lead (52-44).
Hardin County never had a lead in regulation, but a free throw by Davis with 17.7 seconds to play tied the game 56-56 for the first time since the game was tied 0-0.
“After the second half, we knew that we had a chance to come back and win this one,” Davis said.
Hardin County hit 8-of-10 free throws in overtime, and an Easton Rainwater free throw with 1:31 to play gave his team its first lead 61-60.
Johnson led Lexington 13 points, while Trevon Bryant added 11 points.
Hardin County 28
Lexington (3-2) exploded for 25 points in the third quarter to double the halftime score and take a 45-17 lead on Hardin County (2-2).
Kaitlyn Kelley led Lexington with 20 points, while Brilee Bromley added 14 points.
Hardin County didn’t have any players in double figures in scoring. Cailin Striklin led the team with seven points.
Michael Odom, 425-9754