LEXINGTON — Down 14 points to Mars Hill with 3:30 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Lauderdale County Tournament boys championship game, Brooks coach Brian Wright called timeout and told his team one thing. It’s not over.
“I told the kids to get that negative body language out of the way,” Wright said. “We could still come back and win it.”
His players apparently listened to their coach, as Brooks made a miraculous comeback to tie the game at 59 and send it to overtime. The Lions dominated the overtime possession and took a 69-62 victory to claim the tournament title.
“I give God all the glory,” Wright said.
“The kids just hung in there through the adversity. We turned up the pressure late
in the game and forced
Mars Hill into some uncharacteristic turnovers. I thought we were dead in the water at one point, but the kids
were poised and didn’t panic. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Mars Hill’s final turnover in regulation was the biggest. Clinging to a 59-57 lead with under a minute left, Raekeal Beasley stole the ball and passed ahead to Brady Bedingfield, who laid it in to tie the game with 25 seconds left.
Mars Hill had the final shot, but it went begging, sending the game to overtime.
Having come back from a seemingly impossible deficit to tie the game, there was no way the Lions were going to lost in overtime.
Brooks scored the first four points of overtime, and went on to dominate the extra period, outscoring Mars Hill 10-3.
“It’s always nice when you score first in overtime,” Wright said. “We were able to get the first four points an then went into our delay game where we just wanted to take care of the ball and knock down our free throws.”
Holden Corum led Brooks with 23 points while Bedingfield had 16. Skyler Beck had 11 points for Brooks, with nine of them taking place in the fourth quarter and overtime, while Jacob Richardson added 10 points for the Lions.
Thomas Swinea led Mars Hill with 14 points while Harrison Chastain had 13, Mark McWilliams scored 12, Drew Black added 11 and Landon Willis chipped in with 10.
It was the second year in a row Brooks defeated Mars Hill in the tournament championship game, but Wright knows this victory was unlike any other.
“We had every reason in the world to give up, but for some reason we decided to hang around and see what happens,” Wright said. “We knew we would face some adversity in this game, and the key would be to see how we responded. All the credit goes to my guys. They hung in there and didn’t get rattled and were able to come back and pull it out.”