By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Editor-in-chief
SHELBY NORTH – An Enterprise buzzer-beater in the Final Four last year robbed us of a clash in Shelby County between Spain Park and Oak Mountain for the Class 7A State Championship.
Oak Mountain beat Enterprise 41-37 in the state championship, as the Jaguars lost a point in the semifinals, but many wondered what would have happened if the two county teams had met.
Well the two did us a favor and got each other scheduled for the start of the 2021-2022 season, and we finally got to see them face off on Friday November 19th in a clash that was all those who hoped to see the game. from last year could have asked.
Oak Mountain held a two-point lead with 2.7 seconds left to close the game and go undefeated at the start of the season, but the Jags had one last chance to tie or win.
After a time out, in front of his own bench, Josh Harrington found a slight opening for a rebound pass to Colin Turner. Turner turned around, dribbled hard to his left and pushed hard towards the basket, beating his defender and putting the ball down as the bells rang out to tie the game 55-55 and force overtime.
And the extra session was just as fun as the regulation.
Spain Park took the lead in overtime with another basket from Turner, but a free throw and 3-point Wilder Evers gave Oak Mountain a 59-57 advantage.
But Zach Gray had perhaps the biggest response of the night when he emptied a 3 point for the Jags to put them back in front by one. This was then followed by another clutch basket from Turner to make it a 62-59 game in the last minute.
The Eagles won a trip to the free throw line but hit one of the two and trailed 62-60 with 25.3 seconds left.
They were eventually forced to send Harrington to the free throw line with a foul, but after a missed free throw the Eagles got the last look and they went for the win.
Dribbling to his left around the wing, Evers stopped and attempted a 3 point with Gray’s hand right in front of his face. The shot went straight for the basket, but hit the front of the rim and fell short over time, giving the Jags a thrilling 62-60 victory.
It capped a back-and-forth battle, but a comeback for Spain Park, as the Jaguars fell behind at the end of the first three quarters.
The Eagles took a 16-11 lead late in the first quarter, but the Jags never let the game slip away.
They tied the Eagles with 12 points in the second quarter which led to a 28-23 halftime game and then outscored them by one point in the third quarter 15-14 to reduce the deficit to 42- 38 before the final. trimester.
As it turned out, that one point cut before the quarterback made a huge difference in getting the Jags to finish the comeback.
After the game, both teams are now 2-1.
Turner’s clutch basket to force overtime was part of a career-high 27 points, as he also finished with a double-double behind 11 rebounds. Gray finished with 13, including five in overtime, while Harrington also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists.
Evers also managed a night of over 20 points for Oak Mountain, totaling 25 points, while Ryan Giegel added 12.
Spain Park will now host the Jag Classic from November 22-24, while Oak Mountain will travel to participate in the very difficult Spartan Turkey Jam during the same period.