Maryville opened its third trip to the boys state basketball tournament a confident team against Clemson-bound Terrance Oglesby and third-ranked Bradley Central Thursday night at Middle Tennessee State University.
Sophomore Jay Reynolds secured a key offensive rebound in overtime, and the Rebels claimed their first-ever state tournament win with a 73-68 Class AAA quarterfinal victory over the Bears.
With junior Aaron Douglas at the line for the second of two free throws with less than a minute to play in overtime, Reynolds got a hand on a missed toss to deflect the ball back to Douglas. Tyler Maples fed Reynolds for a layup seconds later, and Maryville, now leading 68-66, would never again trail.
"That tip was as big a play as any in the game," Maryville coach Mark Eldridge said.
Wes Lambert added a fast-break bucket seconds later, with the Rebels going 3-for-4 from the line in the final 32 seconds to finish things.
The awe of state tournament play was negated somewhat by a familiarity with the Bears, Rebel senior Kent Basile said.
Maryville had scrimmaged Bradley prior to the season, a contest in which the Rebels fell by two. Douglas and Maples were still with the football Rebels then, closing on the schools record-tying 10th gridiron state title.
"We knew we could beat them because we didnt have Tyler or Aaron," Basile said.
Basile was also familiar with Oglesby.
"I grew up with Terrance," he said. "We played against each other in middle school (in nearby Jefferson County). He was always a good player."
Thursday, Basile would be better.
"He gave us some toughness early by taking it to the goal," Eldridge said.
Maryville wasted no time in jumping to a 20-16 lead after a quarter. Basile and Douglas opened 3-for-5 from the field. With a withering display of scoring from Damron and Maples two quarters later, Maryville ripped open a 52-45 lead to start the fourth.
A run of five consecutive turnovers to open the final eight minutes would cost the Rebels their lead before the end of regulation. With the Bears clinging to a 62-58 lead with 25 seconds remaining, Damron edged Maryville within one with his third 3-pointer of the game.
It was gutsy decision, Eldridge said.
"They gave him a little space," he said. "It was a deep shot, but Jordan shoots that shot well. If he misses that, and they get the rebound, its done."
A Maples interception of a Bradley attempted full-court pass with seconds left soon got the Rebels the ball back, leading to a Douglas free throw with eight seconds remaining to send it to overtime tied at 62.