Powell’s last-second basket wins it for Hounds

Published 12:34 am Saturday, January 23, 2010

FERRIDAY — Down 71-70, Huntington High School had every reason to doubt itself.

After leading 58-43 at the end of the third quarter, the Hounds watched their lead slip away, until a set of free throws by Tallulah’s J.R. Fortenberry with six seconds left gave the Trojans the advantage.

Instead of panicking, however, the Hounds simply did what needed to be done — a quick pass down court, an attack of the open lane and a quick layup with two seconds left to score the game-winner.

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Huntington’s Jeremiah Powell had the honors, sinking the go-ahead basket to give the Hounds a 72-71 victory.

“Basically, I was trying to make sure we kept our composure there at the end,” Hounds head coach Edwin White said. “We had a play set up, and it worked out for us with Jeremiah at the end.”

The Trojans made one last-second attempt to score by sailing the in-bounds pass down the court, but it sailed over the Trojan player and was quickly engulfed by a swarm of Hounds as time expired.

Despite the emotional high of a last-second, game-winning shot, White was still displeased that the contest ever came down to that.

“We had a 22-point lead, and because of mental mistakes, we broke down at the wrong time.”

There were early indications that the Tallulah players might not have been completely focused. Several Trojans dunked during warm-ups, which was called a technical foul and gave Huntington’s Jess Dossett two free baskets before the start of the game.

The Hounds picked it up from there, riding a wave of high emotion and strong full-court defense to a 24-13 lead at the end of the first.

The second quarter was more of the same, with Kevin Brown leading the way by scoring 12 of the Hounds’ 23 points in the second and giving them a 47-29 lead after two.

“When we walked into this gym, I could tell we were going to be a little flat,” Tallulah head coach John Weaver said. “It’s a tough district, and you have to play four full quarters to win. It’s no one’s fault but ours.”

The second half began the Trojans’ comeback. After a quick free throw to start the half, Kevin Brown scored two and drew the foul, then sunk the extra point. Jess Dossett followed up with a free throw to give Huntington a 52-30 lead with 5:37 left in the third.

Tallulah cut the lead to 15 at the end of the third, and went on a 15-5 run during the first four minutes of the final quarter, cutting the Huntington lead to 63-58 with 3:05 to go.

The game went back and forth in the final three minutes before Powell’s game winning shot.

“I’m proud of the way our guys fought back,” Weaver said. “We’re 15-10, 5-3 in the district, and still hold the No. 2 spot, behind Trinity. We’ll go back and look at the film, and see how we can improve. My hat’s off to Huntington, they were the better team tonight.”

Brown led in scoring for the Hounds with 29 points. Dossett added 28, Garrett Vinson score nine and Powell finished with six.

For Tallulah, Jes Shivers scored 26 points, and Fortenberry added 19 points.

“I think Jess Dossett and Kevin Brown are playing well as a unit,” White said. “I also think ninth-grader Garrett Vinson has stepped up and given us a good outside game.”

The Hounds improved to 3-4 in district play.

Tallulah Academy girls 58, Huntington 31

The Lady Hounds didn’t have the same luck as the boys did, as the Lady Trojans improved to 22-3 overall, 6-1 in district play.

Allie Booth and Abi Brown each finished with 13 points for Huntington.

Allie Kate Gossett led Tallulah in scoring with 27 points. Megan Givens added 22.