The Gallatin Green Wave blew a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter before rebounding to claim a 63-59 win over the Beech Buccaneers in overtime on Tuesday in a clash of District 9-AAA rivals.
“We survived it,” Gallatin head coach Bobby Luna said of the Beech rally. “We could have panicked but we didn’t.”
A Noah Ring 3-pointer to start the third quarter gave Gallatin an 18-point lead, it’s largest of the game, and the Green Wave entered the fourth quarter ahead 40-28.
But Beech turned up the defensive pressure to erase the deficit, forcing Gallatin into multiple turnovers.
“We got real loose with the basketball,” Luna said. “We gave them multiple extra possessions.”
Beech sophomore Kristian Shaw scored seven points in the fourth quarter and senior Kaleb Powell added nine, including two free throws with 1:45 left in the game to give the Buccaneers their first lead at 47-46.
Two free throws by Cade Martin and another one by Beljwok Adaing gave Gallatin a 49-47 lead.
But with time running out, Beech sophomore Andrew Paige drove down the lane and scooped the ball off the glass and into the basket to tie the game at 49 and send it into overtime.
In the fourth quarter, “We made a lot of plays,” said Beech head coach Kip Brown. “They were the same plays we didn’t finish in the first half.”
“We were not fundamentally sound in the first half. They had something to do with that,” Brown said. “They play excellent defense.”
“We missed so many layups around the basket,” he added. At halftime, “We told them we were shooting ourselves in the foot. We were rushing shots. We had to handle ourselves better.”
His team responded in the second half. “Pretty much everybody played well,” Brown said.
Adaing opened the scoring in overtime with a 3-pointer and the Green Wave hit nine of 13 free throws to seal the victory.
“I thought we played really good first-shot defense in the first half,” Luna said. “We were fortunate they didn’t shoot well tonight They’re a good shooting team.”
But despite the first-shot defense, Beech outrebounded the Green Wave throughout the game, Luna said.
Going forward, his team will have to handle the pressure better and rebound better, Luna said.
Gallatin was led in scoring by freshman point guard A.J. Davis with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Ring and Adaing each chipped in 11 points and Martin 10.
“We got contributions from everybody,” Luna said. “It’s a good win.”
Powell finished the game with 16 points to lead Beech, and Page added 11 and Shaw 10.
Gallatin’s record improved to 12-4 and 2-1 in the district with the win. They will host Wilson Central on Friday.
Beech fell to 12-6 and 2-1 in the district. The Buccaneers will travel to Mt. Juliet on Friday.
“They’re the best team in the district” and one of the best teams in the Midstate, Brown said. “So we’ve got to play our best game of the year.”
Boys Box Score:
Gallatin (63) A.J. Davis 16, Noah Ring 11, Beljwok Adaing 11, Cade Martin 10, Ethan Rogers 9, Jaden Williams 2, Isaiah Ellis 2, Jack Richardson 2.
Beech (59) Kaleb Powell 16, Drew Page 11, Kristian Shaw 10, Luke Fleming 8, Braden Brinkley 7, Jyquale Matthews 3, Bradley Wheeler 2, Jackson Long 2.