LECOMPTE – Rapides senior Ashton Washington waited all of his life to make a shot like this.
Washington’s game-winning basket and free throw with 2.9 seconds left in double overtime gave the Mustangs a 69-66 win over District 3-2A leader Rosepine Friday.
“I just had to get there and finish and the game was over,” Washington said. “That’s all that was going through my mind. Just get it over with.”
Washington, the team’s lone senior, scored 13 points to help the Mustangs force a three-way tie atop District 3-2A with the Eagles and Many. All three teams are 10-2 in the district leading up the final week of the regular season.
“My kids battled their butts off,” Rapides coach Travis Broussard said. “We came out and didn’t play well to start the game. We’ve been battling sickness and I’ve been sick, so we didn’t get as much practice in this week. Credit to (Rosepine), they’re a really good team. They came out poised, and they played well early. But we didn’t quit. We just found a way to win.”
Rapides (17-9, 10-2 3-2A) took everything that the Eagles had to offer for 40 minutes, even batting a case of missed free throws and layups in the third quarter to will itself for the win.
Although they trailed in the start of the fourth, 45-38, the Mustangs fought back and eventually tied the game at 51-51 after junior Jyquarious Deloach drilled a 3-pointer with 1:18 left in regulation.
Although neither team scored to close out the final 78 seconds, the intensity level picked up in the first overtime.
Junior forward Johnathan Green scored six points in the period and sophomore Desmond Green knocking down a pair of free throws with 13.2 seconds left to put the Mustangs ahead, 63-60.
Rosepine (16-8, 10-2) refused to go away though and forced a second overtime when Konnor Cook’s 3-pointer banked of the glass and through the net tying it at 63-63.
With both teams fatigued yet fighting for district supremacy, the Mustangs and Eagles traded the lead numerous times and ended up tied at 66-66 for the final two minutes before Washington stepped up with the game-winner.
Joining Washington in double figures for Rapides were Deloach and Jamey Mitchell with team-highs of 17 points each, while Johnathan Green scored 15.
For the Eagles, the Cook trio — brothers Konnor, Kolby and Kollin — each scored at least 10 points and had 50 of their 66 points.
“I thought my team performed pretty well offensively considering one of my better players fouled out,” Rosepine coach Danny Fletcher said. “I was proud of them in overtime, but I though our defense was horrible. We didn’t double down on the blocks like we should have. Overall, it’s hard to come here and win.”
The district race for both teams will go through Many as Rosepine travels to face the Tigers Feb. 17 and Rapides will host them Feb. 20. The Mustangs will attempt to keep pace with Feb. 17’s winner when they travel to Oakdale.