In the waning moments of a fast-paced, physical and contentious game at home on Thursday night, the Glenwood boys basketball team had its opportunity to force overtime.
The No. 4 Gators got a good look, but the ball struck inside the rim, bounced out and sent them home with a 56-53 loss to No. 1 Lee-Scott.
It was the first of at least two meetings between the two rivals, though there is a possibility they could play as many as four times by season's end. That's what Glenwood (15-2) coach Dusty Perdue said that he was hoping for.
"This is round one, I hope, of four," he said after Thursday's loss. "This wasn't a bad loss, but hopefully we can
learn something from it for next time."
Glenwood led by seven points, 47-40, with about five minutes remaining to go in the game, but Lee-Scott was able to finish strong down the stretch.
It closed the game on a 16-6 run, including four crucial free throws from big man Jeremy Joseph. Joseph finished with a triple-double, scoring 13 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking 10 shots.
Warriors (15-1) coach Chad Prewett said that his presence, along with a couple others, were the difference in the game.
"He was really big for us," Prewett said. "(Glenwood) did a good job guarding MarQueen (Mitchell), and I thought he was big for us down the stretch."
Thomas Hardin led the Warriors with 18 points.
Glenwood had opportunities in the second half to take control of the game, but Perdue said they weren't able to establish their tempo, instead allowing Lee-Scott to dictate the pace of the game too much.
The Gators came out early in the third quarter after switching to a zone defense to start the second half, gaining momentum and control of the game.
The Gators trailed 24-19 at halftime, but came out on a 10-0 run to jump ahead 29-24 just minutes into the quarter.
They took their first lead in the second half after a steal lead to a fast break for Mike Swann, who Perdue said he considered to be the best athlete on the floor. Swann showed it by taking the pass and, all alone, throwing down a windmill dunk, bringing the crowd to full voice in the process.
Shortly after Glenwood went ahead by five, however, Lee-Scott began to adjust to Glenwood's zone defense and climb back in. It tied the score at 29 and hung around for the rest of the third quarter.
Again, Glenwood jumped ahead, but was unable to hold onto the lead. And after falling behind, the Gators made a run, but were unable to complete the comeback.
"We made a run," Perdue said. "We just made a few turnovers at the end. They made more plays than we did."
Swann led Glenwood with 21 points, followed by Ant Holtzclaw, who had 14.
GLENWOOD GIRLS 35, LEE-SCOTT 28
In a defensive battle, the No. 2 Lady Gators were able to make a charge in overtime to knock off the No. 1-ranked team in AISA.
Tamera McClain scored four of her game-high 14 points in overtime to push Glenwood ahead of Lee-Scott in the final moments.
Tamara York, who scored eight points in the game, helped out on the defensive end, recording 10 blocks for the Lady Gators.
"The defense was the difference in the game," coach Julie Humphries said. "We fought through a lot of screens and were really able to slow them down. I was pleased overall, but it was just one game.
"We'll see them again."
Thursday at Glenwood
Lee-Scott 9 15 12 20--56
Glenwood 10 9 21 13--53
Hardin 18, Joseph 13, Mitchell 7, Pointer 6, Buskill 5, Bethune 5, Dudley 2
Swann 21, Holtzclaw 14, Thomas 6, Barringer 5, Walker 4, Beck 3.
Team records: Lee-Scott, 15-1; Glenwood, 15-2. Next: Lee-Scott, tonight vs. Evangel Christian Academy; Glenwood, tonight at Bessemer.
Thursday at Glenwood
Lee-Scott 5 8 4 11 0--28
Glenwood 8 4 5 11 7--35
DeBaets 8, Prewett 6, Robinson 6, Starr 6, Silseth 2.
McClain 14, Robertson 8, York 6, Tidwell 5, Perdue 2.
Team records: Lee-Scott, 15-3; Glenwood, 15-2. Next: Lee-Scott, tonight vs. Evangel Christian Academy; Glenwood, tonight at Bessemer.