Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - Updated: 9:27 AMIn a surprising reversal of fortunes, Massac County’s Patriots got hot at the foul line just when West Frankfort’s Red Birds went stone cold and the result was a thrilling come-from-behind 62-51 victory for Massac County.
After getting picked apart by big man Austin Glodich and point Noah Allen at the Eldorado Holiday Tournament, the Pats held those two in check while Massac’s Isaiah Thompson worked the Red Birds over inside.
After a little over two scoreless minutes to start things, Glodich hit a cutting Keagan Thrash for the first bucket of the game and it looked like déjà vu.
Frankfort led 11-10 at the first horn and in fact led at all the horns except the one that mattered most. With Thrash hitting a couple of three pointers, the Red Birds extended their one point first quarter margin to a more comfortable 25-18 lead at halftime.
The third stanza was an exercise in futility as the two teams managed just 14 points between them. Massac owned nine of those points though and cut the lead to 30-27 at the third juncture.
The fourth quarter and especially the final two minutes were far more entertaining as the teams got rolling on offense. A total of six triples went down as the pace picked up considerably.
The game turned on free throw shooting in the end as a pair of Darian Roundtree triples got the Pats right back on the ‘Birds’ heels. When Frankfort’s Kyle Hammers clanked two free tosses at the 15 second mark, it was Frankfort’s fifth miss in their last six attempts.
After Frankfort sophomore C.J. Johnson misfired twice at the 50 second mark, the ‘Birds got just one more point, a free throw by Hammers, while Roundtree dropped his last triple on the ‘Birds at the 29 second mark.
Thompson converted two free tosses for Massac to knot things up at 45 all with 19 seconds left but Hammers misfired twice again at the line. A long rebound went to Frankfort but the ‘Birds stepped on the sideline setting up a chance for Massac to win it outright in regulation.
Massac struggled to get a good look and Caleb Duckworth missed a long three at the horn. Free basketball!
The overtime period belonged to Massac as outscored Frankfort 17-6 on the strength of Thompson’s inside play and the Pats’ newfound accuracy at the charity stripe. Frankfort’s big post man, Glodich went out with five fouls on a block attempt of Cade Burgess’ layup with three minutes left and Thompson took over. Burgess lit the fuse with his two made free throws.
Noah Allen got the ‘Birds within three at 52-49 but Thompson outscored Frankfort 7-2 over the last two minutes along with some free tosses by Burgess and Cole Vickers and the Pats coasted to the 11 point win.
Massac was led by Thompson’s 23 points and strong inside play. Roundtree had 14 for the Pats. Massac also got great minutes from Matt Yates while Kris Miller was sidelined after a whack across the nose. Miller had nine points in the waning minutes to add spark to the Pats’ play.
Massac is in action this week in the Superman Classic.