South Putnam's boys mounted a furious comeback against Speedway in the
final two minutes of regulation Friday night, making clutch shots, grabbing
crucial rebounds and out-scrambling the Sparkplugs for loose balls.
The Eagles overcame a five-point deficit to take a 3-point lead with 10.6
seconds to play on Matt Hicks' breakaway lay-up.
But this game was far from over. Taylor Dial extended it to overtime with
a 25-foot 3-pointer at 3.2 seconds, then closed South Putnam out with a decisive
steal and eight points in the extra 4-minute period to carry Speedway to a 71-65 victory in a West Central Conference contest on the Eagles' court.
The defeat will undoubtedly sting South Putnam (3-2, 0-1 WCC) for a day
or two, but coach Kyle Brewer's team had much to be proud of in how they played,
with heart and spirit.
"I felt like our guys showed a lot of composure to battle back and get in
position to win," Brewer said. "We fought to the end. We just couldn't
contain Dial. I thought the Dial kid had a great game. It was hard for us to keep the ball out of his hands, and he made some big plays that made the difference."
Dial, a 6-foot junior guard, scored 44 points. He was 13 of 20 from the
field, including four of 10 on 3-pointers, and 14 of 15 from the foul line.
Matt Hicks was magnificent for South Putnam. The muscular 6-foot-1 post
player had 23 points in the second half and a total of 32 points and nine
"He played hard and provided us a big lift," Brewer said. "He gave us a
chance to win and got us to overtime."
Speedway (1-1, 1-0 WCC) took a six-point lead early in the third period
and kept it deep into the fourth. The Sparkplus led by as many as eight at
37-39 and were in front 52-47 with 2:02 remaining.
Marcus McKinney's basket moved the Eagles closer and Anthony Tomasino
scored inside to get them within one.
Dial converted two free throws on a one-and-one with 1:29 left and Hicks'
countered with a muscle basket from the post. Dial put Speedway up by two,
55-53, with another free throw before Greg Chestnut's 3-pointer from the top of the key put South Putnam on top, 56-55.
Dial responded with a 23-foot 3-pointer from the top of the key and
Speedway was back in front, 58-56.
South Putnam showed patience in working the ball inside to Hicks, who was
fouled as he made a twisting 5-foot shot in the lane with bodies banging into
him. Hicks made the free throw for a one-point lead with 25.6 to play.
The Eagles' defense knocked the ball loose from the Sparkplugs and the
ball was slapped to Hicks, who went down the court to score for a three-point
advantage. Dial wiped it out by racing out of the backcourt and launching his
South Putnam called a time out with 2.3 seconds left and set up a play
that nearly worked. Hicks caught a long pass at mid-court and passed to Ben
Anderson on the wing. Anderson's open 30-footer glanced off the rim.
The Eagles took a 65-63 lead with 1:02 left in overtime.
Dial answered seven seconds later with a driving lay-up.
South Putnam worked for the last shot, but Dial stole the ball and scored
on a lay-up with 6.5 seconds left to give Speedway a 67-65 advantage.
The Eagles called time out. But when they had problems in-bounding the
ball, they called another time out and didn't have one. South Putnam was
whistled for a technical foul and Dial made both free throws. Speedway also received possession, in-bounded to Dial, who was fouled and made two more free throws that left a final score that wasn't representative of how tight this game was.