WEST ALEXANDRIA — National Trail’s boys’ basketball team did something Saturday night (Dec. 3) it hasn’t done in quite some time — beat Twin Valley South.
The Blazers rallied from a seven-point, fourth quarter deficit to defeat the host Panthers 59-54 in triple overtime to win the consolation game of the Twin Valley South Tip-Off Tournament.
“Obviously, it’s a great win for us for where our program is,” National Trail coach Mike Harrison said. “Particularly, the way we played last night I thought we were scared to death when we stepped on the court. I thought tonight we battled. One of the things we talked about was, it doesn’t matter, it’s Twin Valley South — for 30 years, they are always scrappy. They always play hard. They always hustle and it’s very difficult to stay with that intensity level and that’s why they’ve been successful and I thought we did that. I thought we battled tooth and nail with them.”
Dalton Mason, a 6 foot, 3 inch junior, led the way for the Blazers with 18 points and Travis Hunt, a 5-10 sophomore, contributed 17. Senior Peyton Harrison chipped in with 11, including going 3-for-4 from the free throw line in the deciding moments of the third overtime.
Mike Meyers paced South with 20 points before fouling out with two minutes left in the third overtime.
After talking a 6-0 lead almost four minutes in, the Blazers were outscored 13-2 to close the quarter and trailed 13-8. South grabbed a 9-8 lead with 1:48 to play and didn’t relinquish it until late in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers led by as many as seven on multiple occasions, but could never put Trail away.
Trail tied the game at 39-39 with just under two minutes left in the fourth quarter and had a chance to win in regulation but missed a shot at the buzzer.
They also missed shots at the buzzer in the first and second overtime periods.
In the overtime periods, the Blazers never trailed, but it wasn’t until midway through the third OT, that they seized control.
Despite the loss, Twin Valley South coach Tony Augspurger thought his team gave a solid effort. The Panthers played four overtimes in two night and didn’t lead in any of the extra time.
“I thought tonight our effort was better. I thought we battled better. I thought our heart and desire was better,” he said. “I was happier with how we played tonight.”
National Trail fell to Eaton 48-35 in the opening game of the Twin Valley South Tip-off tournament on Friday, while South fell to Dixie in overtime in the first round.
Trail (1-1) was scheduled to play at Brookville Tuesday, Dec. 6. The Blazers are also scheduled to travel to Arcanum on Friday, Dec. 9.
South (0-2) was scheduled to play at Valley View on Tuesday and host Tri-County North on Friday.
South and Trail will meet again on Friday, Dec. 16, at Trail.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.