STOVER, Mo. — The Jamestown Eagles boys basketball team finished in third place at the Stover tournament after the team won 51-43 versus the Dixon Bulldogs on Jan. 4. Jamestown is now 5-5 on the year with the win.
The Eagles trailed early on in the game, as they were down 15-13 after the first quarter. Around halfway through the second quarter, the team trailed Dixon 17-16 with around 4:30 left to go. Jamestown took a 19-17 lead after a three-pointer by Tristan Jones with 2:20 before halftime. Dixon retook the lead at 22-21 in the final minute of the half, but Jamestown scored a basket with under a minute to go to make it a 23-22 game. The Eagles then forced a charge to be called on the Bulldogs final possession of the half to take a 23-22 lead into halftime.
Dixon started the third quarter off with a 9-2 run to retake the lead at 31-25. Jamestown fought back to make it a four point game with less than two minutes to go until the fourth quarter. A free throw by Travis Barbour made it a 33-30 game near the end of the quarter, but Dixon added one last basket to end the quarter up 35-30.
Jamestown got on the scoreboard first in the fourth quarter, as the Eagles hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 35-35 with less than seven minutes to go. But Dixon hit a three-pointer of their own shortly after to take a 38-35 lead. With less than 5:30 left to play, a free throw by Christian Synder made it a 39-38 game. Synder then made the next two baskets for the Eagles as Jamestown took a 42-41 lead with less than three minutes to go. Dixon quickly retook the lead at 43-42, but a basket by Cole Higgins gave the Eagles a 44-43 lead with just over two minutes left. With less than two minutes left and the Eagles up 46-43, Clark Rohrbach stole the ball from the Bulldogs and then scored on the other end to make it a 48-43 game with 1:16 left to play. After Dixon missed two free throws, the Eagles expanded their lead with two free throws by Rohrbach to make it 50-43 with 40 seconds left. Higgins also made a free throw in the final seconds to make it 51-43, as the Eagles defense did not allow Dixon to score in the final minute.
With the two teams trading the lead during the final quarter, Eagles head coach Jay Thompson said the team can learn something from this performance about perseverance and resilience.
"Just keep fighting, the game is never over," Thompson said. "There is a period there where I thought Dixon went up six or seven points and we had not scored in a little bit and they had kind of taken control and we were able to find our groove and get back in it."
The Eagles had success on the free throw line late in the game, as they went 4-7 from the line in the fourth quarter and 6-12 in the game.
In the second half, Jamestown had forced only three fouls on Dixon before the final minute of the game, where the Bulldogs had to foul to stop the clock. A reason for the lack of fouls is Thompson said the Eagles did not try to work inside out.
"We really are hesitant to drive a lot of times," Thompson said. "I thought we shot some early threes and we did not try to work inside out. We are better when we work inside out, get the ball inside and draw more fouls."
Thompson said making the late free throws will help the team have confidence when it is at the free throw line moving forward.
Christian Snyder and Clark Rohrbach led the team with 15 points each, followed by Tristian Jones with six points and Cole Higgins and Travis Barbour with five points each.
The team's next game is at 7 p.m. on Jan. 8 at NW-Hughesville.