DECATUR – The latest installment in the city rivalry was an instant classic.
Stephon Bobbitt was laying flat on the ground in the huddle during a fourth quarter timeout cramping up but came back to swipe a steal that helped Eisenhower take a four-point lead in overtime.
The Panthers won 94-91 in overtime against MacArthur.
“What more could you ask for?” Eisenhower coach Rodney Walker said. “It’s always who’s going to step up on a night? Who’s gonna get stops? We got stops at the right time.”
Eisenhower forced three MacArthur turnovers quickly in overtime to help them take a two-possession lead, then they broke MacArthur’s press perfectly late to finish it off.
Bobbitt had 18 points, Qualyn Young had 22 and Yansyn Taylor added 23.
But MacArthur almost stole the game away at the end of regulation.
Randy Thaxton saved MacArthur, driving in for a layup to tie the game 80-80 with seven seconds to go.
Then, the Generals slapped away the inbounds pass from Eisenhower. The ball ended up in the hands of Zach Briggs, who shorted a six-footer. They still ended up taking the ball out of bounds again, setting up another briggs shot – a 3-pointer that missed the mark.
“It got real wild,” Eisenhower’s Stefon Jarrett said. “We played through it. Gutted it out.”
Eisenhower made two game-changing runs.
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After a MacArthur surge put the Generals up 56-48 in the third quarter – the biggest lead of the game for either team – the Panthers scored the next eight to tie it.
They trailed 62-58 entering the fourth quarter, then Eisenhower scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter.
They led by six halfway to the finish, but Armon Brummett helped MacArthur stay in it. He scored 32 points, a game-high, including three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
… Bobbitt put up a candidate for dunk of the year in the second quarter. He saw a gap in the middle of MacArthur’s defense, drove in between four defenders and slammed it in with his right hand. It was statuesque.
… Armon Brummett could make a blooper reel. In a 2-on-1 situtaion in the first quarter, he and Keenan Ingram bobbled the ball around under the basket. It ended up falling to Brummett, who was sitting down on the floor. Without moving, he shot and scored.
Cool as ice
Free throws were almost Eisenhower’s downfall, but Yansyn Taylor had the Panthers’ back.
He was a perfect 10-for-10, including 4-for-4 in overtime, from the free throw line.
The rest of the Panthers were a combined 15-for-32.