WISE — The Eastside Spartans (21-3) topped the J.I. Burton Raiders for the Cumberland District tournament title Friday night at the Prior Center at UVa-Wise. The 85-80 double overtime thriller was the second overtime game between the two teams in the past week. Eastside won both OT contests.
“That was as good of a basketball game as I’ve been associated with,” said Eastside coach Patrick Damron. “I can’t say enough about how our team responded tonight and this season. J.R. Kilgore really stepped up tonight and with his leadership led us back.”
The Raiders (18-6) started out fast with Zac Campbell making four 3-pointers in the first quarter to help the Raiders grab a 24-13 lead after one quarter. Trevor Culbertson and Houston Thacker also made a 3-pointer. The Raiders were a perfect 6-6 from three-point range.
Eastside started their comeback in the second quarter, outscoring the Raiders 12-8 behind the shooting of J.R. Kilgore and Ethan Powers to trail by only 32-25 at halftime.
The Raiders led 51-43 after three quarters. The Spartans would mount a furious run in the four quarter behind the scoring of Kilgore, Powers and Nick Livingston.
The Spartans trailed the Raiders all game until the final 17 seconds when a 3-pointer from Livingston found the bottom of the net to give the Spartans a one point lead at 64-63. The Raiders responded with Thacker driving down the lane. He missed the shot, but was fouled. Thacker went to the foul line with two shots. He made the first shot but the second shot bounced off the back of the rim. Eastside missed a desperation shot and the game was sent to overtime.
The teams played evenly again in the overtime sending the game to a second overtime tied at 71-71. Both teams were fighting foul troubles, but the Raiders were hit the hardest. Four Raiders starters fouled out in the contest and only one Spartan. Four other players, two from each team were playing with four fouls by the end of the game.
The Spartans made the shots down the stretch and pulled away for the victory.
‘There are four or five teams which could win our region,“ added Damron. “I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Burton.”
“We didn’t adjust to the way the game was being called,” said Raiders coach Aaron Williams. “There were too many touch fouls and we didn’t adjust.”
Caleb Williams scored 24 points to lead the Raiders. Thacker scored 22 points with 12 rebounds. Campbell scored 15 points. Mikey Culbertson scored seven points while Trevor Culbertson scored six points. Derrick Allen scored four points and Jonah Cochrane added two points.
J.R. Kilgore led the Spartans with 24 points. Powers scored 23 points while Chris Swann scored nine points and Connor Blevins added seven points. Garrett Whited scored six points while Grayson Whited added four points.