The Gallatin High boys basketball team had to do some extra work on Friday evening.
The visiting Green Wave outscored Hendersonville by a 24-13 margin in the fourth quarter to force overtime, eventually capturing a 72-69, double-overtime victory over their long-time rivals.
Hendersonville led from the 3:10 mark of the first quarter until Gallatin sophomore guard Zyun Mason hit one of two free throws with 9.6 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 57.
“We’re not a great free-throw shooting team,” Gallatin head coach Bobby Luna said. “We’ve had games where we’ve shot it better. I feel like – at least most of the time – that we’ll make one out of two. It would have been nice (for Mason) to make two out of two and possibly put it away in regulation.”
That score stood through Wave junior Marlon Mitchell’s attempted buzzer-beating drive to the basket. Mitchell thought he was fouled, but no foul was called.
“When I shot the ball, I kind of got hit, and I closed my eyes,” Mitchell said. “I’m not going to say it was the (referee’s) fault (for not calling a foul).”
Mitchell eventually hit one of two free throws with 10.9 seconds left in the second overtime, giving the Wave (7-10 overall, 3-3 in District 9-AAA) a three-point lead that held up.
“It was very stressful,” Mitchell said. “We probably could have won the game in the fourth quarter or the first overtime. That’s just something we’ve got to go to work on in practice.”
Gallatin hit 21 of 38 free-throw attempts but only hit half of its foul shots in the two extra periods (6 of 12). Hendersonville (5-11, 1-5) hit 17 of 28 free throws, but senior forward Preston Brown missed the front end of a one-and-one situation with 31 seconds remaining in regulation that would have given the Commandos a 58-54 lead. Sophomore point guard Cooper Smith missed two free throws with 13.1 seconds left in regulation that would have allowed Hendersonville to have a three-point edge.
“To be up pretty decently in the fourth and give it up … it hurts,” Hendersonville head coach Kerry West said. “The free-throw line continues to haunt us. We could have iced it at the free-throw line … and layups. We missed so many easy putbacks.”
Mason was fouled on the second miss from Smith, setting him up to tie the game.
“I had just told our guys, ‘no fouls on the free-throw-line block-out,’ and we did it,” West said. “It put them on the line, and we’re playing from behind. It’s just a struggle from there.”
Junior guard Nigel Black led Gallatin offensively with 16 points, and Zyun Mason finished with 15. Junior forward Jordan Mason scored 14, while sophomore Collin Minor and Mitchell provided 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Senior guard Austin Kirby led the Commandos with 19 points, while junior center Jordan Amis contributed 18. Sophomore guard Dyilin Hoosier scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half, giving the Commandos a 28-26 lead at halftime.
Hendersonville led by as many as 11 points (44-33) in the third quarter before Gallatin began cutting into the lead to begin the fourth quarter. Minor hit one of Gallatin’s nine 3-pointers to help trim the deficit to four points with 5:42 to play.
The victory moved Gallatin to the .500 mark in district play.
“All of our district games except for the one we won at Portland have been four points or less,” Luna said. “It’s a learning experience.”
Hendersonville hosts Beech on Tuesday, while Gallatin plays at Station Camp.
Reach Chris Brooks at email@example.com or at 615-575-7118. Follow him on Twitter @CB_SumnerSports.
GALLATIN (72) – Nigel Black 16, Zyun Mason 15, Jordan Mason 14, Collin Minor 13, Marlon Mitchell 12, Mark Brummett 2.
HENDERSONVILLE (69) – Austin Kirby 19, Jordan Amis 18, Dyilin Hoosier 13, Preston Brown 10, Jason Hernando 5, Cooper Smith 3, Ryne Loper 1.
Half: 28-26, Hendersonville. End of regulation: 57-57. End of first overtime: 63-63. Three-point goals: Gallatin 9 (Black 4, Minor 3, Z. Mason 1, Mitchell 1), Hendersonville 4 (Kirby 2, Hernando 1, Hoosier 1). Records: Gallatin 7-10 overall, 3-3 in District 9-AAA; Hendersonville 5-11, 1-5.