PINEVILLE — After watching an eight-point lead evaporate over the final 2:40 of regulation, the Pineville Mountain Lions regrouped to outscore Harlan 11-6 in overtime and escape with a 67-62 win on Tuesday.
Sophomore guard Cody Collett broke a 62-all tie with a three-pointer from deep along the right wing with 36 seconds to play. The Dragons tried to answer with a three of their own, but it was off the mark and David Allen was called for travelling as he got tangled up with a Pineville player on his way down with the rebound.
Senior guard Seth Jeffrey was fouled and hit both free throws to push the lead to five with 14 seconds to go and Harlan missed a pair of late 3s as the Lions held on.
“We probably needed a game like that — Even though what we tried to do, we didn’t do well at all in regulation,” Pineville coach J.D. Strange said. “But we need that type of atmosphere and the way we played in overtime was totally opposite of the way we played at the end of regulation. We survived it and everything is positive now looking forward.”
Senior forward Jacob Skinner led a balanced Pineville offense with 17 points. He was joined in double-figures by Byron David Asher with 13 while John Simpson and Jeffrey both finished with 12.
Allen led the Dragons with 15 points, 14 of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime. Dylan McNeil added 13 and Isaiah Johnson nine.
It was a tight game throughout as Nathan Young scored all seven of his points in the first quarter to help the Dragons to an 18-16 lead. Jeffrey hit a pair of 3s to lead Pineville with six points in the quarter.
McNeil hit two 3s for Harlan in the second period on his way to eight points and Johnson added six. Meanwhile the Lions got six points from Asher, four from Skinner and a big 3 from Jared Philpot but Harlan clung to a 33-31 lead at the half.
Skinner scored six points in a defensive third quarter. Pineville also got a basket from Simpson and two free throws from Collett as they took a 41-40 lead. The Dragons were held to just two field goals, 3s from Aaron Simpson and McNeil, and a Manny Davis free throw in the period.
Leighton Piper hit a 3 for Harlan to open the fourth quarter, but the Lions slowly started to take control of things. Asher knocked down a 15-foot jumper and Simpson scored on a putback to give Pineville the lead.
Another Simpson basket and a 3-pointer from Skinner pushed the lead to 50-44 with 4:04 left in regulation. Allen answered with a 3, but a basket from Skinner and a 3 from Jeffrey gave the Lions their biggest lead of the night at 55-47 with 2:50 to play in the fourth quarter.
Allen hit another 3 and later converted a three-point play after a steal to bring Harlan within 55-53 with 1:16 left in regulation.
“It was nip and tuck all the way through and then we made a nice little run there and got up by eight. Give Harlan credit, they came out and hit some big shots. We didn’t make the adjustment very well and they got back in it,” Strange said. “We had our opportunities in regulation but had some missed free throws and turned the ball over.”
Jeffrey hit the front end of the bonus with 48.4 seconds on the clock but missed the second free throw. The miss snapped a streak of 33 straight made free throws for the senior guard.
Johnson also went 1-of-2 from the line to make it a two-point game again. Collett and then Jeffrey both missed the front end of the bonus over the next 30 seconds and Harlan’s Caleb Hogue hit a short jumper with 5.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 56 and force overtime.
“Seth had hit 32 straight coming into this game. Actually coming in he had shot 92 percent (from the line) which ranked among the state leaders,” Strange said. “Of course he missed a couple, but he got that behind him and now he’s on a new streak.”
Asher hit two free throws to start overtime but Hogue answered with a short jumper and Allen connected on a 17-footer after a Lion miss. Simpson tied the game with a basket inside and after a Harlan turnover Asher drove down the lane for two and a 62-60 Pineville lead with 1:08 to play.
Allen answered again for the Dragons 12 seconds later, but Collett’s three gave the Lions the lead for good.
Strange added that it’s always better to learn the tough lessons from a win but said his team will have to do a better job protecting leads in the future.
“We’ve got to get better at those things and the people we’re playing in the next five games will help us get better. If we’re going to have any chance of success in the postseason we’ve got to correct those and I think we’re capable of it,” he said.
Pineville (14-9) hosts Oneida Baptist on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and then Whitley County on Friday. Harlan (8-16) returns to action on Saturday at Red Bird.
— — —
Harlan……18…15….7…16….6 — 62
Pineville…16…15…10…15…11 — 67
HARLAN (62): David Allen 15, Dylan McNeil 13, Isaiah Johnson 9, Nathan Young 7, Caleb Hogue 6, Aaron Simpson 5, Drew Parks 3, Leighton Piper 3, Manny Davis 1, Dakota Morris 0.
PINEVILLE (67): Jacob Skinner 17, Byron David Asher 13, John Simpson 12, Seth Jeffrey 12, Cody Collett 7, Jared Philpot 5, Dalton Ledbetter 1, Connor Ford 0, Isaac Longworth 0.