By Mike Talbert
JACKSON It was simple as a coach taking too long in the huddle with his players.
While Biggersville’s Nicky Shaw was throwing the ball to Jon Barnett for a lay-up to complete a 6-point trip down court and the winning bucket, the Mount Olive players were scrambling to get on the court.
That throw-in also completed a 9-0 Biggersville run that gave Lions a 67-65 win and wiped out a seven-point deficit in the final 2:16 of the boys Class 1A State Tournament championship.
“We just didn’t give up. We have come back like that before. We were down to Thrasher in the first game of Division (1-1A tournament),” guard Scott Thompson said.
This is the first state basketball title for the Lions (27-9).
Barnett scored 25 points for the Lions in his final high school game, while Brandon “Boo” Patterson and Scott Thompson added 12 points each. Aaron Duckworth led the Mount Olive Pirates (33-3) with 26 points, Toby Hodges added 15 points and Rodney Gray 14.
The turnaround came quicker than you can say Boo. And Biggersville fans were saying Boo quite loudly in the final seconds of the game as Patterson had two key steals.
The first steal came after a technical call ended a 12-2 Mount Olive run that included nine free throws as the Pirates jumped to a 65-58 lead with 2:16 left.
“They thought we were going to give up because we were behind. The dude who had the ball was moving around and I told him to come on and he picked the ball up,” Patterson said. “As soon as he did I slapped the ball loose and took off.”
Then Sean Patterson hit the first of two free throws with 1:29 left after the Pirates missed a shot at the other end.
Then Boo. And the ball was stolen again and Sean Patterson was fouled on a missed putback to start the six-point play.
Sean missed the second free throw, but Boo pulled in the rebound and put the ball back up. He missed, but a foul and a technical was called on the rebound.
“I thought they jumped the gun on both tecnicals,” Biggersville coach Jacky Rowsey said.
Sean had grabbed the rebound before the foul, but Thompson stayed at the line and hit three straight free throws after missing the first one for the 10th tie of the game.
“I knew I could hit them, I have been in that situation so many times before — in practice,” Thompson said.
The Lions completed the six-point trip with the thrown-in to regain the edge with the 13th and final lead change of the game.
Hashunie Hayes missed a lay up for overtime and Boo Patterson pulled in his 13th rebound to end the game.
Neither team has a lead of more than six points. Biggesville’s biggest lead was 32-27 at halftime.
“Everything fell against us for a while then everyhting worked for us,” coach Jacky Rowsey said. “This is a sweet as it can be.”