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Bears advance with buzzer-beating putback


GREERS FERRY — No lead is secure in the state playoffs.

Ozark Mountain faced a 17-point deficit midway through the third period and with only seconds remaining in Thursday afternoon’s Class 1A State Basketball Tournament, they won their opening round game against Clarendon with a buzzer-beating stick-in, 61-59.

“This was the most physical team we played all year,” Bear head coach Noah Chagnon commented after the game. “For us to adjust to the game physically and want to win was big. These players just didn’t want to end the season.”

At the 3:45 mark in the fourth quarter, the Bears had overcome their 17-point deficit and tied the game at 53 apiece after a pair of Marcus Bunch scores in the paint and two charity shots from Zack Bolin.

Clarendon responded with two quick baskets to put the lead back to four points.

Gage Freeman earned his final assist with a no-look pass to Bunch below the block for a score.

The Lions then hit a jumper on the other end of the floor to put the game at a 59-55 Clarendon lead with 1:30 remaining.

Bolin was then sent to the foul line where he knocked down both shots to get the Bears within, 59-57.

Clarendon was unable to score on the ensuing play as Bolin picked a Lions’ pocket at midcourt during the next play and turned the steal into a layup to tie the game at 59 apiece with 24.6 seconds remaining. 

Freeman then planted himself on defense and drew a game-changing charge on an opposing player to give the Bears the ball with 14.2 seconds remaining. 

Bolin walked the ball down the court unguarded and then drove to the goal as the clock approached the final seconds. Bolin’s shot came off the rim but sophomore Ethan Brumley was there to cleanup the rebound and stick the ball into the net before the final buzzer. The Ozark Mountain fans erupted in exhilaration and the environment in Brady-Hipp Arena was electric everywhere but on the Clarendon side of the stands.

“This team really has a good nose for the ball,” Chagnon noted of the final play. “We’ve done that a lot of times this year. They just weren’t buzzer-beaters.”

Apart from the final second of the contest, OMSD’s only other lead of the game was by a 5-4 score in the first period. Clarendon took advantage of points off turnovers and owned a 22-13 lead at the first break.

Bolin scored six of OMSD’s 12 points in the second period and Clarendon matched the Bears with 12 points of their own. Clarendon had the halftime lead, 34-25.

Clarendon began the third period with a 10-2 run to build their largest lead of the game at a 44-27 score with 5:03 left in the third,

The Bears finished the third on a 16-4 run of their own before the final comeback in the fourth period,

Bolin led the Ozark Mountain charge with 27 points. Bunch finished with 23 points and large accolades from the coach for his efforts. Brumley tallied seven points including the game winner. Walker Robinson added four points, 


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