(T-G Photo by Gary Johnson)
As the Shelbyville Central Golden Eagles and their fans walked out of Lincoln County's gym on Friday night, they felt their first District 8-AAA win was taken away in the closing seconds of regulation in a 71-64 overtime loss.
Shelbyville (4-14, 0-6 8-AAA) fell behind 13-0 to start the game but battled back and took their first lead with 2.4 seconds left to play when sophomore Tavist Allison sank a pair of free throws to put the Eagles 60-59.
A questionable foul was called on the Golden Eagles on the ensuing inbound pass near the half-court line when a player from each team leaped to catch the basketball, sending Lincoln County's B.J. Thompson to the free throw line.
After missing the first of two free throws, he connected on the second to even the score with 1.4 seconds left on the clock. A long desperation shot by the Eagles fell short, sending the game into overtime.
The Falcons (13-6, 4-1 8-AAA) outscored the Eagles 11-4 in the four-minute overtime period.
"I'm extremely proud of how our team played and how they fought back. All I'm going to say about the final seconds of regulation is that it's very unfortunate," Central coach Stan Eggleston said. "I'll leave it at that."
Lincoln County led 15-5 at the close of the first quarter, but the Eagles outscored the Falcons 16-12 in the second stanza to cut the lead to 27-21 by intermission.
Shelbyville sophomore Devonta Leslie scored 11 unanswered points at one point in the third quarter to even the score at 33-all, but Lincoln County closed out the period with a 8-5 run to hold a 41-39 lead.
The game remained close throughout the fourth quarter.
"Our guys stuck to the game plan throughout the game and were really focused, despite our slow start," Eggleston said. "They played hard, aggressive and played a smart basketball game. Some calls just didn't go our way and that's part of the game of basketball."
Thompson led all scorers with 24 points while Justin Blackwell netted 15 and Ty Hadly a dozen for the Falcons.
Allison joined Leslie in double figures with 15.
The Eagles hit the road for Oakland on Tuesday night at 7:30.
Shelbyville 5 16 18 21 4 -- 64
Lincoln Co. 15 12 14 19 11 -- 71
Shelbyville (64): Devonta Leslie 22, Tavist Allison 15, Smith 9, Ray 8. Ward 4, Trollinger 4, Carpenter 2.
Lincoln Co. (71): B.J. Thompson 24, Justin Blackwell 15, Ty Hadley 12, Christian 8, Jones 6, Talley-Hyde 4, Malone 2.
3-point goals: Shelbyville (5): Leslie 4, Smith 1; Lincoln Co. (3): Jones 2, Talley-Hyde.
Halftime score: Lincoln Co. 27, Shelbyville 21.