Trailing 51-49 with 16 seconds left, Marion County had one final chance to earn a win in the Monroe City Basketball Invitational against No. 5 seed Paris.

Case Wolfe thought Marion County had just lost another game.

Trailing 51-49 with 16 seconds left, Marion County had one final chance to earn a win in the Monroe City Basketball Invitational against No. 5 seed Paris.

Alex Huffman drove the lane and kicked it back out to Wolfe at the top of the key. Wolfe had already knocked down a pair of shots from behind the arc, but he didn’t think he made the biggest one after it left his hands.

“I thought I air balled it and let down my team,” he admitted.

Instead his 11th, 12th and 13th points of the game gave the Mustangs their second win of the season.

“Alex made a good pass and it felt pretty good to help give us a win,” the sophomore said. “We have had some bad losses so it feels pretty good to be on the good side of a game.”

Marion County coach Justin Ellison mentioned he had different thoughts than Wolfe did while the ball was in the air.

“Case is probably our best pure, knock-down shooters when he is open,” the Mustangs coach said. “I had good feeling when it left his hands. It was a big shot for our team and for him.”

Paris had one final chance with three seconds left, but good not get off a shot before the final buzzer sounded.

Ryan Ragsdale gave the Coyotes a 51-49 lead on a drive with 16 seconds left. Marion County had three timeouts remaining, but Ellison decided he would just let the final seconds play out.

“The last four or five minutes of the game we were doing such a great job of driving the lane and kicking it out to open shooters,” Ellison explained. “And we were in the double bonus, so I just felt comfortable to just let them go with it and see what happens.”

The game featured 20 lead changes and nine ties.

Paris led 47-42 with 2:17 left in the game.

Huffman buried a trey from the top of the key on the Mustangs next possession.

After Konnor Heitmeyer answered with a drive for the Coyotes, Ty Bowdish drained a 3-pointer from the corner to pull the Mustangs to within 49-48 with 1:22 remaining.

After a defensive stop, Huffman tied the game at 49 by splitting a pair of free throws with 35 ticks remaining.

“We have not been in a lot of back and forth battles in the fourth quarter like that,” Ellison said. “So it was nice to see the kids play though and gut out a win. As the No. 8 seed it feels really good to leave this gym with a win.”

Bowdish led the Mustangs with 16 points, while Wolfe (13) and Sheldon Whetstone (10) combined for 23 points.

Marion County connected on seven shots from behind the arc.

The Mustangs (2-4) will play for the consolation championship Friday night against the winner of North Shelby and South Shelby.

A dejected Paris coach Wade Billington summed up the loss with one sentence.

“We did not box out, we did not defend the three-point line and we missed a lot of layups,” that is all I am saying.

Billington refused to comment further on the loss.

Heitmeyer led the Coyotes with a game-high 17 points.