By Brandon Speck
NEW ALBANY – Biggersville stole this one.
Roaring back from a double-digit, fourth-quarter deficit against West Lincoln in Saturday’s Hotbed Classic, the No. 6 Lions converted big steal after big steal into layups in a 76-72 overtime win.
“Pressure got to them,” Biggersville coach Cliff Little said.
That’s about all Little had by way of an explanation for the slow-coming win. He said he wasn’t even feeling his usual self.
Daniel Simmons hit 5 of 6 from the line in overtime after Darian Barnett’s dish to Shaun Watson gave the Lions the first score of the extra period, a 65-63 lead they wouldn’t lose.
Biggersville (18-3) got a game-high 25 points from Jaylon Gaines, including a dunk off a Simmons’ steal with 1:05 left that gave Biggersville a 63-60 lead. West Lincoln (17-4) tied it on Ronnie Edwards’ 3-pointer to force OT, three of West Lincoln’s seven points in the quarter.
Edwards scored 18 points, hitting four of his team’s 10 3s. Ke-Shaun London and Duane Marshall scored 12 each. Six-foot-7 center Sam Bivens scored 11.
Little credited the job Watson did holding Marshall eight points under his season average.
“Communication, defense, blocking out and rebounding,” Gaines said.
All of those got better in the fourth quarter as an aggressive Biggersville piled up steals on the press. Watson’s steal in overtime went to Gaines for a layup and a hard bump from Bivens, but a 73-69 lead.
Simmons scored 16, Emmanuel Simmons scored 10. Barnett had 10.
It was the second meeting of the teams in the last 10 months. Biggersville beat West Lincoln, now in 2A, in March’s Class 1A state semifinals. Biggersville went on the win the 1A championship.
“It was just one of those nights,” Little said. “Coach (Maurice) Stafford had some big calls over there. I’ll watch the tape tonight.”