FLOWOOD — Basketball is a game of runs, and Terry’s came at the most pivotal time.
Trey Smith, Avery Thomas and the Bulldogs got hot in overtime, and did just enough to get past Northwest Rankin 78-73 in a thriller.
“Both teams played really hard," Terry coach Chris Parker said. "Trey played every minute of this game, and he gave it all he's got and stepped up when we needed him to. This is what you expect in a district rivalry game, and this has become a rivalry because of the importance of the game and we know we will have to see them again.”
After playing to a 62-62 tie in four quarters, the Bulldogs out-scored the Cougars 18-11 in the overtime to move to 17-5 overall and 3-1 in Region 6-6A. The win avenged a 56-44 loss to the Cougars two weeks ago.
The first half was a see-saw affair. Terry took a 19-13 lead into the second quarter, but the Cougars opened it with a 20-3 run for a 36-27 lead at the half.
Terry trimmed that nine-point deficit to seven in the third, and used an 11-2 run in the fourth to cut it to 56-55.
The Cougars led it 62-57 with just under two minutes left, but Terry’s Tyrel Short made a free throw, Tyler Shorts hit a lay-up and Smith tied the game on a lay-up off an out of bounds play to tie the game at 62 with 11 seconds left.
“In the second half, we had to match their energy and we saw that they couldn’t handle the press," Smith said. "So we just kept executing. They were so focused on the shooters and we were making shots, and they left the middle wide open to just catch the ball and lay it up. That gave us confidence and we just had to push through to finish the game.”
Smith led all scorers with 24 points, while Thomas added 20 points and Jaden Harper chipped in 19 points for the Bulldogs (17-5).
“Trey just did everything we asked and executed the play like we wanted to to (force overtime)," Parker said. "The guys played hard and didn’t give up. Basketball is a game of runs, Northwest is a great team, we were turning the ball over and they were making us pay for it. Now we've just got to finish the end of the regular season strong, because we've got a tough schedule down the stretch.”
LeVionne Lindsey had 23 points to lead Northwest Rankin, while Brendan Brown added 17 points and Davion James scored 14 points for the Cougars (16-8).
“They hit us in the mouth and then we controlled the game for a while, but later in the game we had a couple mental mistakes and turned the ball over under pressure,” said Northwest Rankin coach Joshua Luckett. “We got away from what we do and their pressure got to us and that’s something we can watch film and get better at. This game was a good for us because there’s a lot we can learn from it and we will.”