Harlan trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half on Friday against Pineville. The Green Dragons slowly chipped away at the lead before a Robby Curry 3-pointer sent the game into overtime.
Kilian Leford’s six points in overtime helped the Green Dragons exit Pineville with a 69-64 victory over the Mountain Lions.
Pineville had an opportunity at the end of regulation to win the game but couldn’t get a clear shot at the basket.
After falling behind by three with 32.5 seconds remaining in overtime, the Mountain Lions used two timeouts in an attempt to set up a play. Harlan fouled on the inbound pass with 3.9 seconds remaining to prevent a 3-point attempt. Carnes missed both free throws, essentially sealing the victory for Harlan.
“Harlan played hard. They never let down,” said Pineville head coach JD Strange. “We built a couple of leads up at times and they would whittle them down. I give them credit. I’ve watched them all year, and they play really hard.”
“At times we didn’t take care of the ball and didn’t shoot free throws well. The biggest thing there at the end in a close game, we had a three-point lead and we probably should have gone man. If I had to do over I would have. We had our chances and didn’t capitalize on them and Harlan did.”
Drew Parks and Ledford were the leaders for Harlan offensively. Parks ended the game with a team-high 20 points.
After not making a basket in the first half, Ledford caught fire in the third and fourth quarters. He finished the game with 19 points.
For Pineville, Carnes scored a game-high 27 points. Trent Lefevers added 21 with the majority of them coming in the first half.
With 4:33 to go in the second quarter, Harlan trailed by eight. A 3-pointer from Josh Lawson extended the Pineville lead to 29-18.
An Ethan Morton 3 narrowed the lead to 31-23 with little over a minute to go in the half. Two sets of free throws from Carnes increased the lead to double digits with 46.1 seconds remaining in the half.
A layup from Parks at the buzzer returned the deficit to single digits with the Mountain Lions taking a 34-25 lead into halftime.
Pineville opened the third with back-to-back baskets to build a 38-25 lead with little over six minutes remaining in the quarter.
A 6-1 run by the Green Dragons cut the lead to eight points (39-31). Following a free throw from Carnes, Trent McKenzie scored on a layup to decrease the lead to 40-33.
Both teams traded baskets for the remainder of the third. Trent Lefevers hit a layup with 10 seconds left in the quarter to put the Mountain Lions up, 47-40 heading into the fourth quarter.
A basket from Carnes and a free throw from Will Adams increased the Pineville lead back to double digits at the beginning of the fourth (50-40).
Harlan trailed by nine points with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. A Ledford 3-pointer narrowed the lead to 56-50 with 1:36 remaining.
Coming out of a timeout, Lefevers scored on a layup to return the lead to eight. McKenzie nailed two free throws to bring the score to 58-52 with 1:06 remaining in the fourth.
The Green Dragons ended regulation on a 7-1 run to tie the game at 59. Harlan outscored Pineville 10-5 in overtime to secure the victory.
Pineville (18-7, 2-2) will host Middlesboro (1-24, 0-6) at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Harlan (14-10, 2-3) will host Oneida Baptist Institute at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN