Missed free throw(s) cost Panthers 2 OT loss to Todd Central
By Jim Turner

Posted on February 15, 2020 9:48 PM

What does one missed free throw mean? For the Russellville Panthers Friday, it meant not forcing a third overtime?

What do 17 missed free throws mean? For RHS, they equaled a two-point loss and an impending third Clash of the Cats in the first game of the 13th District Tournament.

The Panthers shot 33 free throws Friday and visiting Todd Central 34. Coach Dennis Pardue’s Rebels hit 27 of their 34 for almost 80 percent. The Panthers connected on 16 of their 33, slightly less than 50 percent. Simple math shows Todd picked up 11 more points at the line than did their hosts and won by only 2 points in 48 minutes.

For the record, the final flubbed foul shot came with just 2.1 seconds remaining in the second overtime. Todd had hit 15 of 16 free throws in the fourth quarter and overtime, but thanks to a pair of missed foul shots by the Rebels’ Anthony Johnson with 23.9 seconds, Russellville had a chance to tie the game with a 3-point shot.

Naturally, Coach Carlos Quarles had his top scorer, Jaquis Todd, take that long-range bomb. Todd missed, but teammate Jackson Hampton worked hard to get the rebound, put the ball in the basket and drew the foul. Todd led 79-78, but Hampton could tie it with a foul shot. Pardue took a timeout to ice him, and it seemed to work, since Hampton missed the freebie. Todd’s Dominique Morrow got the rebound and added the extra point.

This was a tight game throughout. The score was tied eight times after halftime. The biggest lead in the final 20 minutes was four. That margin came twice, and both times it was that same Jackson Hampton who hit a goal to tack on the third and fourth points to the margin.

Todd’s biggest lead late was three, including the 79-76 before Hampton’s rebound bucket and missed foul shot.

Russellville led 16-10 after a quarter with Jovari Gamble scoring 6. After Gamble put the Panthers up by two late in the half, Todd’s Preston Moore tied it at 29-29, appropriately, on two free throws.

Late in the third quarter, the Rebels were up 49-47 before Russellville’s Todd hit two free throws to tie it. Then Hampton hit a 3-pointer and then scored at the buzzer to give the Panthers a 54-40 lead at what was supposed to be the last stop before the final buzzer.

Russellville’s last lead in regulation came on a pair of free throws by Chaun Cheaney and a goal by Gamble to make it 60-57. The Panthers, however, went cold and scored only five points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter, a 3-pointer by Todd with 2:20 and Gamble’s drive with 10.2 seconds. Regulation ended in a 65-65 tie.

In the first overtime, the Rebels led 73-70 on a pair of free throws by Deonte Toliver with 36.3 seconds. Panther Gamble missed two more free throws, but teammate Josh Allen stuck the rebound back in. Chevis Elliott rebounded a rare missed free throw by Morrow, and Jaquis Todd got the ball in to Allen with 7.8 seconds. Allen missed 5 of 6 free throws in overtime, but he hit that one to send the game into the second OT.

An RHS win would have given both teams a 1-5 district record and forced a coin toss for the number three seed. With the loss, Russellville dropped to 0-6 in the district and will have to play 6-0 Logan County in the tournament. The Cougars have won the first two Clashes by an average of 32.5 points per game.

Score by quarters: 1) RHS 16-10, 2) 29-29, 3) RHS 54-50, 4) 65-65, 1st OT) 73-73, Final) Todd Central 80, Russellville 78

TODD (80) Dominque Morrow 21, Deonte Toliver 17, Austin Ranger 16, Preston Moore 10, Tommy Stuard 8, Amari Andrews 4, Anthony Johnson 2, Kenanu Galima 2

RHS (78) Jovari Todd 15, Jovari Gamble 14, Chaun Cheaney 12, Jackson Hampton 12, Josh Allen 9, Devan Kimbrough 8, Chevis Elliott 2, Kendahl Edmonds


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