With the score tied at 39 and the final horn sounding in their ears, the Yazoo City Indians thought they were headed to an overtime period to decide their first round playoff contest against the Louisville Wildcats.
To their dismay, however, officials ruled Jacquarrius Collum’s attempt to draw a charging foul a block, and put one second back on the clock which allowed Louisville to make two free throws, propelling the Wildcats to a 41-39 victory. Yazoo City’s season comes to an end at 9-21.
“I thought it was either a charge or a no call and we go to overtime,” said YCHS head coach Anthony Carlyle. “Unfortunately the foul call at the buzzer to allow them two free throws is a tough way to end the season. Overall I am proud of the guys on how they competed and didn’t quit when things didn’t go how they expected. To be in a tie game on the road with less than a minute with an opportunity to win is what you want.”
The Indians opened the game with a 15-9 first quarter surge and continued to pour it on in the second quarter, outscoring the Wildcats 14-10 to take a 29-19 lead at the half. The Wildcats, however, answered with a run of their own in the third quarter, outscoring the Indians 15-4 to take a one-point lead, 34-33, heading into the fourth quarter.
Louisville scored seven fourth quarter points to Yazoo City’s six and benefitted from the final two free throws to secure the win.
“I thought we played well. We came out in the first half and executed against their press to build a lead, but it’s a game of two halves,” said Carlyle. “During the third quarter we missed some critical layups and had some costly turnovers that allowed them back into the game to get the lead.”
Percy Green was the only player to reach double figures for the Indians leading the way with a team-high 16 points. Collum chipped in with eight, William Grayson and Daon Henry had four apiece, Jaquaris Rogers had three and F.J. Lewis and Manari Paige rounded out the scoring with two points apiece.
After a rough first season, Carlyle will now focus his attention on providing the Indians with a proper off-season regimen which, combined with the experience they gained this season, should result in drastic improvements moving forward.
Said Carlyle: “I expect us to use this experience and build on it going into the spring and summer months to get better individually and as a team for next year.”