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Cougars drop heart breaker in 5 OTs

By DAVID GRAVELY

editor@southwesttimes.com

 

Almost.

 

One word, made up of two syllables, is the only word that can describe the incredible upset the Cougar basketball team came so close to pulling off. It was heart breaking, but at the same time a treat to watch as the Cougars played what was without question their best basketball game of the year before falling to the Halifax County Comets 69-75 in a five-overtime thriller.

David Gravely/SWT – AJ McCloud goes up for two over Kam Roberts.

 

Pulaski County was not expected to win the game. The many “experts” who make such predictions simply felt that the Cougars didn’t have the manpower or talent to hold up against sophomore Kam Roberts, last season’s player of the year, and his equally talented teammates. The Comets were only able to play three regular season games during the season. It showed in their conditioning late, but they were able to dig just deep enough to pull out the win.

 

The Cougars didn’t go down without a fight. Despite the predictions, Pulaski County led 13-11 after the first period and led 28-21 at the halftime break.

 

Halifax County began to mount their comeback in the third, but the Cougars continued to lead 34-30 at the end of the third. The fourth period saw the two teams swap leads several times, but the period ended with the score knotted up at 43-43. In high school basketball, that means the two teams went to a four-minute overtime period.

 

The first overtime ended with each team scoring five points, leaving the score again tied, this time at 48-48. The second overtime was even more of a defensive struggle. Each team only managed two points, leaving the score 50-50.

 

Overtime number three again saw the score flip back and forth, but when the buzzer sounded each team had added five points, leaving the score 55-55. The fourth overtime saw slightly more scoring. Each team scored eight points to leave the total at 63-63.

 

The fifth overtime was, unfortunately, decided when two Cougar players finally fouled out. Seniors AJ McCloud and Clay Phillips each left the floor with five fouls, leaving a big void in the lineup. The Comets went on to outscore the Cougars 12-6 in the fifth overtime, earning the 69-75 win.

 

With the loss the Cougars see their season come to an end with a record of 5-10 against a host of top teams.

 

AJ McCloud led the Cougars with 28 points. Kyle O’Neal added 13 points and Peyton McDaniel scored 12. Josh Bourne added eight points. JJ Gulley scored seven and Lane Nester added one point.

 

Kam Roberts led the Comets with 37 points. Kevon Ferrell backed him up with 14 points. The Comets will advance to the Region 4D championship game against Blacksburg, who defeated Amherst County 50-30 Wednesday at Amherst County.

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