BOONEVILLE • In a night where everything seemed to have gone wrong, Blue Mountain still found a way to prevail through the adversity with a 58-56 win over Jumpertown on Tuesday night to secure their spot in the Class 1A playoffs.
Junior guard Jaden Hall played the hero role, nailing a floater in the middle of the lane with three seconds left for the game-winning basket.
Hall was riddled with foul trouble in the first half, picking up three fouls in the first quarter. Senior Trent Gray went down with a knee injury midway through the second as the Cougars found themselves down 25-23 when he exited the floor. With Gray out, Blue Mountain head coach Joe Dan Roberts was forced to put Hall back in the game and soon thereafter, picked up his fourth foul with just under two minutes left in the first half. Jumpertown led 33-30 at the break.
The Cardinals opened up a 40-32 lead by the 5:06 mark of the third before the Cougars made their comeback with an 8-0 run behind a pair of layups from eighth grader Chevy White and Hall's basket plus the foul shot. The game entered the fourth quarter tied at 42-42.
The fourth quarter saw the two teams trade the lead eight times and were tied another five times. Jumpertown's Riley Geno scored on a fadeaway jumper with 1:03 left to give the Cardinals a 55-53 advantage. Blue Mountain's DeShawn Tyler scored his team-leading 19th point on a layup at the other end to tie it with 40 seconds left.
David Peterson picked up his fifth foul with 11 seconds left in the game, sending Jumpertown's Kye Elliott to the line with a 1-and-1 opportunity. Elliott knocked down the first attempt but the second rolled off the rim. Hall raced down the floor with the floater to put the Cougars ahead by one. Jumpertown's ensuing inbound resulted in a turnover, sending Hall to the free throw line with 0.9 seconds left to seal the win.
Tyler led Blue Mountain with 19 points followed by Peterson's 13-point effort. Hall scored just eight points while White notched seven points, all in the second half.
The Cougars are now 15-12 on the season and will face Biggersville on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The winner will advance to Friday's championship game.
(B) Falkner 85, Thrasher 61
The Eagles used a balanced scoring attack to blow by Thrasher in the opening round of the Div. 1-1A Tournament. Falkner posted 27 points in the first quarter behind eight points from point guard Cody Johnson, who drilled two 3-pointers in the opening frame.
Leading 27-13 by the end of the first, Falkner poured it on in the second with most of their starters finding rest on the bench. Freshman Rod Ruedas hit back-to-back 3-pointers to highlight the second quarter. Falkner led 48-25 at halftime.
The Eagles were led by Cam Smith's 17 points followed by 15 points from Johnson, Daylon Crum and Chauncey Jackson. Ruedas ended with 12 points. Falkner advances to face Pine Grove for the fourth time this season. The Panthers have won all three previous meetings but not without much drama mixed in. The matchup is set for Thursday at 8:30 p.m. with the winner advancing to Friday's championship game.
(G) Blue Mountain 69, Falkner 31
The Lady Cougars poured it on Falkner in the first quarter behind the hot shooting of sophomore Teauna Foote. Foote buried four 3-pointers in the opening period to help Blue Mountain out to a 21-6 lead entering the second.
Blue Mountain opened the second on an 8-0 run to build a 23-point lead, all but signifying the lost hope for the Lady Eagles. Falkner then cut it to a 13-point game with a 10-0 run but the lead was too insurmountable to overcome.
Teauna Foote led all scorers with 19 points. Eighth grader Arare Foote added 17 points while senior Annija Chills pitched in 15 points in the win. Falkner freshman point guard Harley Garner scored a team-high 16 points for the Lady Eagles.
The Lady Cougars advance to face inc-county rival Pine Grove on Thursday at 7 p.m.