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Jackson repeats in OT
The Indians dodged Kelly's
last-second shot to escape
with a ??-?? victory in the championship game.
By Jeremy Joffray ~ Southeast Missourian
The makeup of the Jackson boys basketball team may have changed, but the results are the same.
For the second straight season, the Indians brought home the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament championship, posting a thrilling 63-61 overtime victory against Kelly on Thursday night at the Show Me Center.
The top-seeded Indians returned only one starter from last year's squad and are now under the guidance of coach Darrin Scott. Despite all the changes, Jackson (12-0) came out on top again.
"The biggest thing is these boys have overcome adversity all year, from the coaching change to losing a friend," Scott said, referring to the September death of senior Jason Schafer. "To overcome adversity builds character, and that character showed tonight."
The Indians seemed to be in control for much of the game, holding the No. 7 Hawks at bay. But a big fourth-quarter comeback set up a thrilling finish. Over the final six minutes of the game, neither team led by more than four points, with each team making basket after basket.
"We were on the verge there where it didn't look good," Scott said.
After trailing for more than 28 minutes, Kelly grabbed a 48-47 lead with 3:11 remaining on Kent Deason's bucket. The Hawks had not led since 2-0. Jackson answered on Jack Puisis's jumper, but Kelly scored the next four points to go up 52-49.
With Kelly up 54-50, Tyler Beussink made a 3-pointer from the corner to help the Indians stage a rally of their own. After Beussink's 3-pointer the Indians score the next three points to grab a 56-54 lead with 18 seconds remaining.
"Toward the end of the game, we lost our composure a bit," Beussink said. "But with our great depth, we can put in different players in different situations."
The Hawks had one last chance to win the game in regulation but ended up in the tie. Michael Glastetter took a pass from Kendal Deason and made an open layin with six seconds left. Glastetter was fouled on the play, but his free throw was no good. Glastetter's miss was only the fourth miss in 31 free throw chances for the Hawks. Kelly had made 11 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter before Glastetter's miss.
In overtime, with the score tied and little more than a minute remaining, Jackson held for the final shot. Jackson senior Jack Puisis passed the ball into the corner to Adam Ross, who fed Ryan Mirly for a wide open lay-in with 6 seconds remaining.
Kelly's Derek Felter had a chance for the win but his open shot rimmed out.
Mirly said his game-winning shot was not diagrammed.
"It just kind of happened," he said.
Puisis led the Indians with 19 points, including four 3-pointers. Beussink finished with 14 points, and Mirly had 13.
Beussink said the team just came out to have fun.
"That's our mentality. We want to work hard, have fun and do the right things," he said. "If you do that, then you're going to win the ballgame."
Kent Deason led the Hawks with 22 points. Kendal Deason was held to 10 points, his lowest output of the tournament. Clay Mothershead added 12 points for the Hawks.