SURGOINSVILLE – Jackson Clonce hit a put-back with three seconds left to lift the Eagles to a 35-33 victory over Rogersville City School in a well-played game Tuesday night.
The Eagles took an early 7-4 lead only to see the Warriors roar back on a 9-2 run to take a 13-9 advantage through one quarter of play as Colten McLain scored eight points, including three, coast-to-coast layups.
Drives by Nolan Amyx and Logan Johnson tied the game at 13-13 at the 5:26 mark of the second.
Surgoinsville built five-point leads twice – 20-15 and 22-17 – only to have the Warriors close the gap. Two free throws by Loften Looney with :04 left in the first half cut the SMS lead to 22-19 at the break.
Free throws by Jayden Ward and a jumper by Caden Lafollette gave RCS a 23-22 lead with 2:39 in the third.
Both teams played tough defense throughout, as baskets were earned and passing lanes contested.
Clonce gave a preview of coming attractions with a put-back with :03 left in the third quarter to send SMS into the fourth with a 24-23 lead.
A put-back by Amyx started the fourth-quarter scoring and extended the Eagles’ lead to three, 26-23.
McLain answered with a drive to trim it to 26-25. One minute later, Johnson drove for a basket to put SMS back up three, 28-25.
A basket by Garrett Smith closed the margin to 28-27. McLain then connected on two drives in a row to put RCS in front, 31-28, with 1:42 remaining.
Amyx then answered with a three-pointer from the right wing to tie the game at 31-31 with 1:17 left.
Smith’s jumper put RCS in front, 33-31, with :53 left. Lucas Case answered for SMS 13 seconds later to tie the game at 33-33.
After the Eagles defense stopped RCS, their offense worked the ball around until Clonce rebounded the ball and put up a shot in the final three seconds.
Time ran out before the Warriors could call time-out and the Eagles had avenged a 39-37 loss at RCS on Nov. 21.
Johnson, who did not play in the earlier game at RCS, led SMS with 14 points. Amyx added nine.
McLain scored 14 to lead RCS, which was playing without an injured Zayden Hayes. Keaton Lawson added seven points for the Warriors.