Bastrop 51, Carroll 50
An All-District wide receiver, SirQuan Hawkins showed off his passing skills on the basketball court. Hawkins' length-of-the court inbounds pass to Danny Hill for a game-winning layup with 9.2 seconds left sent Bastrop to a thrilling 51-50 victory over Carroll, Tuesday night at Sam's Place.
Carroll appeared to have the game all but locked up after T.K. Burke drove an open lane and sank the & 1 to give the visiting Bulldogs a 50-44 lead with 43.8 seconds remaining.
Denterrius McHenry's putback off of a missed 3 brought the Rams within 50-46, but with only 24.7 seconds to play, the clock was the Bulldogs' ally.
After getting a desperately-needed turnover on the defensive end, the Rams pulled within 50-49 on Hill's three-point play with 15.7 seconds left.
Carroll missed the front end of a one-and-one on its next possession. When play resumed, the Rams had 13.9 seconds to cover the full court.
Hill broke deep, caught Hawkins' perfectly-thrown pass in stride and converted the layup to put Bastrop up 51-50 with 9.2 seconds left.
Following a Carroll timeout, Hawkins came up with a steal about a third of the way up the court and the stunned Bulldogs allowed the clock to run out without fouling to stop the clock.
When was the last time Bastrop beat Carroll on the hardwood? It was a frequently-asked question that nobody could answer right away. Taking the trivia a step further, Bastrop assistant Al "Fig" Dowles asked, "When was the last time Bastrop beat Carroll and Richwood in the same year?" Another unanswered question.
One thing is for certain, nobody from Bastrop — players, coaches or fans — is going to forget Tuesday's game any time soon.
"It was a great team effort," said an emotionally spent Bastrop coach Theabury Odom. "We got some turnovers and our execution was flawless after the timeouts down the stretch. When Carroll came out in a 1-2-1-1 press (in the final minute), I thought we did a good job of moving the ball and setting screens. SirQuan made two passes that were simply outstanding, and Danny made two big-time baskets. The pass on the three-point play was huge."
Bastrop (10-7), which started the season 4-0 before hitting a rough patch, has now won four straight. For only the second time in two weeks, the Rams played with a full roster after various players missed time with the flu.
"This is a great group of kids," Odom said. "They are reach coachable."
Hawkins' layup and Cortlen Newsome's 3-pointer got the Rams off to a promising 5-0 start.
Hill twice extended the margin to eight, at 11-3 on a pair of free throws and 13-5 on a goal from the left baseline.
Carroll regrouped with a 14-1 flurry. Devante Traylor's open 3-pointer from the right side gave the Bulldogs their first lead and Randy Jones' driving layup made it 19-14 before Hawkins' layin closed the deficit to 19-16 at the end of the quarter.
Tikarius Smith's layup gave the Bulldogs a 23-16 lead early in the second quarter.
Bastrop twice crept within one, at 23-22 on Newsome's long 3, and 25-24 on two Hill free throws.
Jarrell Gundy's three-point play enabled Carroll to carry a 28-24 lead into the locker room.
Gundy set up Jones underneath and Devante Edwards cleaned the offensive glass to give the Bulldogs their biggest lead, 32-24 midway through the third quarter.
Held scoreless through the first five minutes of the second half, the Rams went on a 8-0 tear with Newsome at the point and Hawkins taking a breather on the bench.
McHenry sliced his way inside to end the Rams' drought, Hill capped a three-point play and Guirlando converted all three free throws on a three-shot foul to square the game at 32.
Exploding through an open lane, Gundy gave the Bulldogs a 36-34 lead going into the final frame.
Trailing 40-39, the Rams momentarily seized control midway through the fourth quarter. Hawkins' free throw tied the game before Newsome's 12-footer from the lane and Hawkins' layup circled the rim and dropped to put Bastrop up 44-40.
It would be nearly four minutes before the Rams would score again.
Meanwhile, Gundy sank 3-of-4 free throws to bring the Bulldogs within 44-43 with 2:20 showing on the clock.
On Carroll's next possession, Traylor picked up a deflected pass by McHenry underneath to put the Bulldogs in front 45-44.
Two more Gundy free throws on a one-and-one, and Burke's three-point play off of a Traylor dish upped the margin to 50-44 with 43.8 seconds to go.
This one would go to the Rams, though.
"Any time you can get a quality win against a team like Carroll, it's big," Odom said.
Hill, who was 6-of-6 from the free throw stripe, topped the Rams' balanced attack with 14 points. Hawkins put up 14, Newsome 11 on a trio of 3s, Guirlando seven, McHenry six and Keyshawn Scott one.
Odom said Hill and McHenry helped neutralize the Bulldogs' height advantage.
"Defensively, I thought we did a great job of fronting the post," Odom said. "I thought Denterrius and Danny did an outstanding job on the post."
Scott logged significant minutes after McHenry was whistled for his second foul midway through the first period.
"I thought the freshman did a great job defensively when he came in," Odom said of Scott.
Gundy knocked down 5-of-6 free throws en route to leading the Bulldogs (12-6) with 14 points. Smith was next with nine, Traylor, Randy Jones and Edwards added seven apiece and Burke six.
Bastrop has the remainder of the week off before visiting Vision Academy on Monday and hosting West Ouachita in the District 2-4A opener on Friday, Jan. 12.
Notes: Bastrop's Jordan Rabun spent most of the second half on the bench with an ice pack on his knee. ... Carroll won the first meeting vs. Bastrop in convincing fashion, 65-33, Dec. 12 in Monroe.