Longhorns outlast Pickens

LINDEN — Marengo Academy (9-12) held off a late charge from Pickens Academy Monday to grit out a 36-34 win.

With 2.9 seconds to go in the game, Pickens called a series of timeouts before drawing up a potential game-tying play. The Pirates ultimately went with an overhand heave on the inbound pass to a shooter posted down court at the free throw line. The turnaround jumper was well defended by Marengo’s Cason Cook and managed only to draw the back of the iron before falling harmlessly off to the left of the rim.

Less than a second earlier, Shade Pritchett set up the sequence when he took the ball on the right side of the baseline, cut underneath the goal and managed a right-handed turnaround layup to give the Longhorns a 36-34 lead.

Pritchett’s heroics followed a pair of free throws from Pickens’ Josh Lewis that knotted the game at 34, a sequence that occurred only seconds after MA’s Hayden Huckabee dropped in a jumper off the assist from Andrew Martin to give the Longhorns a two-point lead.

The game became a back-and-forth affair in the opening seconds of the third quarter when Pickens began the frame with back-to-back triples to tie the game at 20.

However, the Pirates would not take a lead until 3:04 to go in the contest when Phil Fikes dropped a pair of free throws to put Pickens up 29-27.

The advantage, which proved the only Pickens lead of the contest, was short-lived as Pritchett quickly erased the deficit at the other end with a pair of shots from the charity stripe.

The Longhorns’ 12-point fourth quarter helped them overcome a paltry four-point third frame that allowed Pickens to force the see-saw battle that ensued in the final period.

Pritchett led Marengo with 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Cook had eight points and 20 rebounds in the game. Hayden Huckabee had six points and eight rebounds while Carson Huckabee had four points and 12 rebounds.

Lewis led Pickens with 14 points. Fikes added eight for the Pirates. SAm Beachler finished with six.