HOUSTON COUNTY – After a three-way tie between Jo Byrns, McEwen and East Robertson, a coin flip declared Jo Byrns the regular-season champion, while East Robertson finished second and McEwen finished third, all ahead of Houston County.
Jo Byrns and East Robertson both dropped its opening games of the district 9-A tournament. After not winning a district game all year, Houston County somehow bounced its way into the district tournament with a 50-49 overtime win over the Red Devils, while No. 2 seed East Robertson fell to McEwen 61-55.
Houston County 50
Jo Byrns 49
At halftime, Jo Byrns had a decent 21-15 lead, followed by a 34-29 lead at the end of the third quarter. But the Red Devils dried up in the fourth quarter, getting outshot 14-8 to force the game into overtime.
In overtime, Boone Fletcher and Eric Herring banked in their only shots of the game, both behind the 3-point line to lead 49-48 with 45 seconds left and the ball. With 15.7 seconds on the clock, Houston County finally fouled Jo Byrns to send Fletcher to the line. Missing both free throws, Houston County got the ball back and called a timeout with 9.4 seconds left.
After the timeout, Houston County scored on a last-second basket to win, advancing to the district championship.
East Robertson 55
After the first five minutes, McEwen led 13-2 with the only points coming from the youngest player on the court, Taylor Groves. In the second quarter, East came back and only trailed 28-23 at halftime.
Midway through the fourth quarter, McEwen almost had it in the bag with a 52-37 lead, but the Isaiah Hobdy and Luke Murphy combined for 13 fourth-quarter points, pulling back within 7, but with only 30 seconds left on the clock, the comeback bid fell short.
After both losses, Jo Byrns and East Robertson will face each other in the consolation game for third and fourth place of district 9-A on Friday night at 5:30 p.m. at Houston County.
JO BYRNS SCORERS:
Jo Byrns (49) Dane Hankins 19, Tyran Douglas 4, Collin Richards 9, Riley Monfette 8, Boone Fletcher 3, Eric Herring 3
EAST ROBERTSON SCORERS:
East Robertson (55) Dylan Wilhelm 5, Luke Murphy 16, Isaiah Hobdy 14, Taylor Groves 12, Daltyn Hammonds 5, Nelson Brown 3