Point guard Jaylen Davis ‘19 scored 10 of his 13 points in the pressurized final seven minutes of the game, and Eagle Basketball overcame a desperation three-pointer that forced overtime to defeat Trinity Christian Academy 49-42 to advance to the the TAPPS 6A state Final Four for the second consecutive year.
The Eagles trailed throughout in a game dictated by TCA’s deliberate tempo and tight 2-3 zone defense which limited the inside opportunities for 6-9 Everett Vaughn, and forwards Melvin Larkins ’18 and Jared Cebrun ’18.
St. Thomas was down 34-28 with 3:40 remaining in regulation when Larkins muscled through traffic to tip-in a missed three-pointer and ignite the comeback. Davis and Max Vosloh ‘18 then buried four straight free throws to tie the game 34-34.
TCA racked 20 turnovers, none more critical than a Davis strip deep in the backcourt which he immediately converted into a driving layup with 69 seconds remaining to give the Eagles only their second lead of the game and first since midway second quarter. Three more free throws from Davis pushed Eagle Basketball in front 39-36 in the closing ticks before TCA threw in an ad lib three-pointer off an offensive rebound to beat the buzzer and extend the game into the extra session.
Losloh opened overtime with a deadly three-point jumper from the right corner to quickly regain control for the Eagles who never again trailed. Davis, Larkins and George Fisher ‘18 drilled five free throws in the final 1:47 to complete the final margin.
Vosloh led Eagle Basketball with 15 points while Larkins and Drake Everist ‘18 combined for 15 more as the Eagles survived four minute-plus scoring droughts to start the first and second halves. The victory raised the season record to 21-10.
The Eagles now face Dallas Bishop Lynch Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at Abilene Christian University in the state semifinals and are aiming for a third state title since 2008 in the fourth Final Four in 10 seasons.
Eagle Fight Never Dies!