HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – MVP Terran Williams had Lee County (Marianna) basketball fans on their feet and screaming the final four minutes of Friday’s double overtime win over Caddo Hills in the 2A State Championship at the Hot Springs Convention Center.
Trailing by three with seconds left in the first overtime, Williams threw up a prayer at the buzzer to force a second extra period. Williams scored nine points in the final four minutes, including three spectacular dunks. He finished with 17 points, earning Lee County its first state title in 38 years, 62-55.
“We’ve been reviving the program the last three years,” said Lee coach. “I’m just so excited for these guys to earn a state title. It means so much to me personally.
“To be honest I was surprised how tough Caddo Hills (31-5) played us. They play a similar style of basketball, in that they pressure the ball. I didn’t think they’d pressure the ball for 32 minutes, but they did. You can say they outscrapped us. They fought us tooth and nail, and I didn’t think it would be a double-overtime game.”
Lee County gets into OT with buzzer-beater
It appeared the Indians were going to win in regulation, but 6-5 Kelvin Bowers scored at the buzzer for the Trojans to tie the score at 44-44.
Caddo Hills’ Connor Kincannon scored first in the second OT, which turned out to be the Indians’ final lead.
The Trojans (20-1) lineup featured four players taller than Caddo Hill’s tallest player. The 6-5 Williams said after the game he went to another level with his game after Bowers and 6-6 Kylann Bradley fouled out. Six-foot-7 Je’Marion Westbrook also scored 17 points in the game, including two treys in the second half.
“Lee is a well coached team, very disciplined, and they play hard,” said Caddo Hills’ young coach Josh Ferrell. “It was a great game. I thought my kids fought, and never gave up. I’m so proud of them for that.
“We worked all week on trying to stay in from of Williams. At times we did a very good job. Holding him to five points in regulation is something special. We didn’t get tired. We played our tails off until the very end.”
Nine of Williams’ 17 points come in second OT
Bowers, Westbrook and Williams built a quick seven-point cushion that Caddo Hills could not overcome. Kincannon continued to make big plays at both ends of the court to keep the Indians in contention until the final seconds. He scored a game-high 26 points, with three 3-pointers. The only other Indian in double digits was Rayce Young with 10 points.
Unlike the Trojans’ coach, Ferrell expected his team to challenge for the state championship.
“After we beat Dierks in the regional final, we took our game to another level,” said Ferrell. “It gave us confidence going into the state tournament.”
Kincannon and senior Matt Turner compared the Lee Trojans to the Hot Springs Trojans, which won a close game early against Caddo Hills.