Photo courtesy of Sharon Noble, Caddo Country Radio
JESSIEVILLE – The Centerpoint Knights played to a capacity crowd – including many Knights fans — in the first round of the Class 3A against the host Jessieville Lions.
They also scored their first ever state victory with the 57-54, going 16/16 from the free throw line – many of which were crucial shots in the fourth quarter.
At half the game was tied at 25, after the Knights lead 13-9 after one.
Tanner Brunt led the team in scoring with 10 at half, David Banda has 6 rebounds.
Hunter Dailey – Jessieville’s leading scorer with a 22 point average per game, had 8 at the half. Steven Benson also had 8 points for the Lions.
Centerpoint opened a 31-27 lead early in the third quarter, which was extended to 36-29 after a three point shot by Dalton Cox with 4:29 in the quarter. Dustin Forsythe assisted the shot after an offensive rebound.
The game progressed deep into the third with the only scoring was a pair of Lion free throw shots to narrow the score to 36-31.
Dailey knocked down a three for the Lions with just under a minute to close the score, but was answered by a Banda three with under three seconds on the clock.
Dailey, fouled on his half court heave as the buzzer sounded, hit two of the three free throws to make the score 41-38 Centerpoint at the end of three.
After two Forsythe free throws, Jessieville scored twice consecutively but missed and and-one free throw, leaving them behind 43-42.
With just under five minutes remaining, Jessieville’s Alex Burleson fouled out of the game, and Forsythe hit two free throws to move the score to 45-42.
After a Lions score, Forsythe again hit two free throws to make the score 47-44.
Dailey would rebound his own missed shot and put it back up to close the gap, and on the and-one free throw after being fouled by Banda, tied the score at 47.
Cox hits a shot, and after two Jessieville missed free-throws, Banda made two of his own and the Knights opened the lead to 51-47 with 2:11 remaining.
With 1:40 remaining Brunt hit on two free throws to push the lead to 53-47.
Jessieville, refusing to fade away at home, move the game to 53-52 after a score on a turnover and a three pointer by Dylan Anderson.
Banda and Keenan Owens sandwiched four converted free-throws around a missed Jessiveille three-pointer to make the score 57-52 with eleven seconds left, marking the Lion’s tenth foul of the half.
The Lions did get a tip-in with one second remaining to make the final a bit closer 57-54.
Owens and Brunt led the Knights with 12 points each, with Banda adding 11 and 9 rebounds.
Forsythe, despite his four fouls, played great defense – largely while harassing Dailey one-on-one.
Tanner Owens added 5 on the game.
The Knights will face the winner of the Marshall-Paris game on Friday night at 8:30 in Jessieville.