Late Run Helps Panthers Over Eureka
Eureka, Ill — In a game where the final play decided the game on a half court heave, the Red Devils were hungry for another shot. The last time the Panthers and Eureka met on January 10th the teams combined to break the SLIAC record for points scored. The game came out in Greenville’s favor 145-142 combining for 287 points. In a similar game at Eureka on February 11th, the Panthers found themselves up early once again. On senior Stevonte Young’s 3 point basket giving Greenville the 52-32 advantage. Just like similar games this season the lead dwindle down as Eureka started to claw back in. A bucket late in the first half by Shea Feehan of the Red Devils cut the score to 84-76. The Panthers went into the locker room still confident, with 9 senior leaders they knew it would be a battle in the second half.
The second half found the Panthers struggling. With Eureka’s student section and home crowd cheering on the hometown team. The Red Devils came right out and snatched the lead. They controlled the game for 95 percent of the second half. With one minute to go in the game, the scoreboard read 146-139 in favor of Eureka. The crowd was quiet and everyone in the gym thought the game was probably over. However, the Panthers knew they had a shot to still win the game. Sophomore Johari Dix 3 point basket with 43 seconds to go cut the lead to 146-142. The Panthers called a timeout after Eureka turned the ball over. Right after the timeout senior Kenny Greene banked in a 3 pointer to cut the lead to 146-145, Greene finished with a team-high 24 points. The game was now in a frenzy, with the crowd going wild on both sides. With 29 seconds to go yet again, the Panthers got a steal by senior Michael Hohm. Hohm led Greenville with seven steals. Coach Barber called a timeout and drew up a play of a lifetime. With 17 seconds to go senior Shane Smith got the ball and it was storybook from there on out. Smith stuck his head down and drove to the basket, with a euro step move Greenville was suddenly winning 147-146.
After Eureka threw the ball away once again with 9 seconds remaining, senior Elmo Smith got the ball. He was fouled and stepped to the free throw line. Sinking both the Panthers were up 149-146. The Red Devils drove down and tried to convert a 3 pointer at the buzzer. Greene wasn’t in favor of that as he blocked the shot at the buzzer. The Greenville fans and benches erupted as they had pulled off the impossible. In a post-game press conference, Young said “we do situations in practice every day where we are down big with little time left. Today it really showed how we do that. We were able to capitalize and win a big one.” The game broke the SLIAC record for the second time this season. Combining for 295 points by both teams.