STURGEON, Mo. — It all happened so fast.
It looked like the Jamestown Eagles boys team (15-12) had forced overtime against the Wellsville Tigers (13-13) after Clark Rohrbach got an offensive rebound and tied the game at 55 with eight seconds to go in the fourth quarter.
But Wellsville in-bounded the ball and rushed down the court and hit the game-winning shot just inside the 3-point line right before the buzzer went off to win the game 57-55 and end the Eagle's season in the sectional round of the Class 1 boys basketball state sectionals, Feb. 26.
In the fourth quarter, Jamestown led 47-38 with just more than six minutes to go, but Wellsville went on a big 12-1 run to take a 50-48 lead with 3:44 left to play. Jamestown would tie the game at 50, and then later they would tie the game again at 53 with 43 seconds left in the game.
Eagles head coach Jay Thompson said the team reflected on the season they had and how they turned it around after the loss.
"How we started out 3-7 and we were able to make some changes and go on some small win streaks to finish the season," Thompson said. "We set two major goals, and that was to win a district championship and to finish with a winning record, and we were able to do both those things. I told them, what they are feeling right now, that it sucks but that they need to use it as motivation this summer and in the offseason and every time they are lifting weights to remember this moment and to try to learn from it and use it as motivation the best way they can."
The game was tight throughout the first quarter, as Jamestown ended the quarter up only one point with the score 15-14. In the second quarter, the Eagles got off to a fast start as Wellsville scoreless until just around five minutes left in the quarter, as Jamestown built a 20-14 lead. It looked like the Eagles were starting to pull away as they outscored Wellsville 14-4 in the second quarter. Jamestown ended the first half up 11 points with the score 29-18 thanks to solid defense.
Wellsville did not back down, and at the start of the third quarter, the Tigers came out swinging as they quickly cut the lead down to seven points at 31-24. Jamestown got the lead back up to 10 points at 34-24 with around five and a half minutes left in the quarter, but back-to-back 3-pointers for the Tigers cut the lead down to four points at 34-30 with just over four minutes left in the third.
Wellsville got within three points at 37-34 late in the quarter but Jamestown made it a two possession game with more than a minute left in the quarter before ending the quarter up 43-38.
Thompson said Wellsville made some tough shots against his team during the second half.
"We forced some tough shots but (Wellsville) got hot and they made some runs," Thompson said. "I thought there were a couple of chances that we had to score that we could slow them down and take away momentum maybe for a few possessions. But we didn't do that, they got stops when they needed to."
Christian Snyder and Clark Rohrbach tied for the game high in points with 20 points each and Cole Higgins added nine points for the Eagles.
Thompson said the returning players can learn a few things from the game.
"First off, that the game is never won until the horn sounds." Thompson said. "No team is ever out of it, you have to play hard for 32 minutes, you have to play your best every possession."