Linden loses OT heartbreaker to Keith

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2005

The Linden Patriots held a lead over the visiting Keith Bears for 31:14 of the 32 minutes of regulation in Tuesday night’s varsity boys game. They didn’t hold it quite long enough.

After a controversial technical foul call with 3.5 seconds remaining helped send the game into overtime tied at 49, Jared Jackson’s three-point attempt with less than ten seconds to play in the extra period was no good and Linden fell to Keith 61-59.

The loss drops Linden’s record on the year to 1-1.

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The Patriots appeared to be in command of the game at halftime. Behind a pair of baskets by Wesley Hodges, Linden went on a 14-0 run to turn an 11 tie into a 25-11 advantage at the break.

After a Darnell Richardson free throw with 5:12 remaining in the third quarter, the Patriots still held a 28-15 lead. But behind a swarming defense that caused a series of Linden turnovers, the Bears scored 12 of the game’s next 13 points to pull within two at 29-27.

A Gary Williams field goal with 35 seconds left in the third quarter pushed the lead back to four at the end of three, and after a Jared Jackson free throw Linden led 37-31 with less than 5:30 to play. But Keith scored the next six points to tie the game at 37, setting up a wild back-and-forth finish as Linden repeatedly pulled in front by two or three only for Keith to respond again and again.

Jackson’s breakaway basket gave the Patriots a 49-46 edge with 42 seconds to play, but Keith scored on their next possession to pull within one. An off-the-mark Bears three-pointer followed by a Sean Richardson rebound with 3.5 seconds remaining appeared to have sealed the Linden win, but after the rebound the Patriots called for a timeout despite having used their last one moments earlier. Linden was assessed a technical foul over the protests of the Patriot coaching staff (who appeared to argue that they had been told their team still had a timeout remaining). The Bears sank one of the two free throws to send the game into overtime.

With 3:18 left Keith took their first lead of the game at 50-49 before Christopher Martin scored his first points of the game with a driving layup. But the 51-50 lead would be Linden’s last as Keith built the lead to as many as five at 59-54. Two free throws by Jackson with 13.7 seconds left cut the lead to one, 60-59, and with less than five seconds remaining the senior got a clean look at a potential game-winning three after a pair of missed free throws by the Bears. But Jackson’s shot bounced off the front of the rim and Keith escaped with the victory.

Hodges led the Patriots with 16 points, while Jackson also finished in double figures with 12.

The Patriots will return to action Friday night at home against the Akron Rams.

Varsity girls: Keith 45, Linden 34

The Linden girls were able to cut an eight-point halftime lead in half at 27-23 halfway through the third quarter, but the Lady Bears pulled away in the fourth quarter to claim an 11-point victory on the road.

The Lady Patriots were led by Shamell Tate with 7 points. Tesha Howard and Keanna Tate chipped in 6 points each while Kerby Aldridge scored 5.