Like many times before, the Pulaski County Maroons basketball team faced off with the Somerset Briar Jumpers and it was an absolute thriller last night at Pulaski County High School.
The Maroons had the momentum early, but Somerset turned it on late to force overtime. The teams were dead even and went into a second overtime where Pulaski ended it.
Sophomore Barek Williams hit a pair of clutch shots including a three and driving layup that resulted in a five point Maroon lead.
The Jumpers tried multiple threes late and just could not get them to fall in. Juniors Zach Travis and Caleb Sloan sealed the deal with a pair of free throws from Travis and a single from Sloan. Sloan's free throw gave the game its final score of 73-65.
Pulaski outscored the Jumpers 12-4 in the second overtime period to push them to victory.
"I thought we played hard and rebounded well," said Maroon head coach John Fraley. "Gave a good effort and improved in some areas. Like it usually is with these two teams it was a great game to watch and be apart of."
Prior to the second overtime, it was all defense in the first overtime period. There were numerous steals for each team and just two buckets for each team as well. Pulaski's came from Travis and Sloan, and Somerset's came from an inside shot by sophomore Jerrod Smith, and a pair of free throws by senior Dylan Burton that forced the second OT.
The Maroons came into the fourth period leading by six points at 45-39. However, the Jumpers slowly chipped away their lead throughout the quarter.
Through the first half of the period, Somerset outscored Pulaski 12-6 to even up the score at 51-51. This run featured a steal and driving layup by Burton, back to back three point plays by sophomore Gavin Stevens and senior Kade Grundy, an inside bucket by senior Dakota Acey, and an inside shot from Smith off a pass from Acey.
Pulaski's points during the run came from an inside shot by senior K.J. Combs, a mid range shot from Williams, and a pair of free throws by sophomore Cayden Lancaster.
After tying up the game, the Jumpers took a four point lead with back to back contested mid range buckets by Grundy and Stevens. However, the Maroons took their lead right back with a three from Williams and a shot from inside the paint by Sloan.
Inside the final minute of the game, Combs hit a single free throw to put Pulaski up two with little time left. Then, Burton evened up the score at 57-57 with a driving layup for Somerset. Junior Drew Polston of the Maroons was fouled just two seconds before the clock expired, but missed his free shot sending the game into overtime.
At the start of the game, it was pretty competitive too as Pulaski led 18-15 heading into the second period.
During the first, Combs had seven points with three inside buckets and a free throw, Williams had five with a mid range shot and a three, and Travis, Sloan, and Lancaster each had two with a driving layup from Travis and Sloan, and a mid range shot from Lancaster.
Stevens was on fire for the Jumpers in the first with three contested three point shots for nine in the quarter. The rest of Somerset's points came for a pair of inside buckets from Acey, and a pair of free throws from Smith.
After the first is where the Maroons really shifted the momentum to their favor and began to grow their lead.
During the second period, they held the Jumpers to just nine points and scored thirteen with three from Combs off a free throw and inside basket, a driving layup from Polston, a pair of free throws and inside shot by Williams, a pair of free throws by Travis, and a bucket from inside the paint by Lancaster.
Somerset's nine during the quarter came from a mid range shot from junior Jack Harmon, three inside buckets by Burton, and a single free throw by Stevens.
Pulaski went into the halftime break leading 31-24, and opened the third period with an 11-4 run that extended their lead to fourteen points.
During the run, the Maroons had a mid range shot and driving layup from Sloan, an inside shot by Travis, a three from Williams, and a shot from inside the paint by senior Dalton Bertram. The Jumper's four came from an inside basket by Acey, and a mid range shot from Grundy.
However, Somerset closed the third with a 11-3 to cut the Pulaski lead to six points heading into the fourth quarter.
The Jumper run featured a pair of threes from senior Colton Correll, a three from senior Kannon Tucker, and short fade away from Burton. The three for the Maroons came from a driving basket and free throw from Sloan.
When reflecting on the win, Fraley said "I'd like to see us continue to defend and rebound like we did and get better at executing."
The win by Pulaski spoiled the Jumpers undefeated record and dropped Somerset to 5-1 on the season. The Maroons advanced to 5-2 and will play their next game next Tuesday at Madison Southern. The Jumpers will be back in action tomorrow night, where they will face the Madison Southern Eagles at Somerset.
PCHS 18 13 14 12 4 12 - 73
SHS 15 9 15 18 4 4 - 65
Pulaski - Williams 22, Combs 15, Sloan 14, Travis 10, Lancaster 6, Polston 4, Bertram 2.
Somerset - Stevens 15, Burton 14, Acey 10, Grundy 9, Correll 6, Smith 6, Tucker 3, Harmon 2.